Public health officials in Colorado have started testing for public nudity in public places in hopes of catching people who may have exposed themselves in public restrooms.
Public Health Director Jim Anderson says it’s the first time he’s ever seen it in the state, but that he’s encouraged by the response.
“People have been very cooperative with us, and we’re hopeful that this will be the beginning of a trend that will hopefully lead to an increase in the number of public restrooms where this is not the case,” Anderson said.
Public health officers are testing public bathrooms at public events, schools, parks and beaches, Anderson said, and are using the results to educate the public about the potential health risks of exposure to public nudity.
“We have not had any reports of this occurring at our venues in the past.
We have not seen any evidence of any increased health risks in the public at large,” Anderson told the Denver Post.
He said he thinks the public health response is more than enough.
“It’s not like they’re taking it seriously,” he said.
“I don’t think we’re trying to push it or push it hard,” Anderson added.
“They have a history of doing this.
We’ve had cases of people exposing themselves in bathrooms and public spaces, and that’s just part of our culture here, so we’ll be supportive of that.
We’re also going to do a lot of testing in the schools to see what’s going on in that particular area.”
Anderson said there are no plans for a statewide rollout of the test, but it is something that is available to public health officials statewide.
The Colorado Department of Public Health has launched an investigation into the issue and will provide an update when the results are available, said spokeswoman Molly McCue.
“As we’ve seen in other places, people are willing to do the right thing, so it’s not a surprise,” she said.
Anderson said it’s important for people to realize they can go about their daily lives in public if they’re aware of the risk.
“If you don’t want to go in public and expose yourself, you can,” he told the Post.
“You can be confident in your own body, but you should not be exposed in public.
You should be protected in your home and that should not include going to a public place.”
In Colorado, public nudity is illegal in nearly every public building except for the state capitol building and the University of Colorado campus.
In Colorado, anyone found with visible genitalia is subject to fines and/or criminal charges.