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Possible looming world DIAPER SHORTAGE crisis sure is going to stink

maciymommieof3
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Posted by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 7:53 AM
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A baby with a diaper (© Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

Possible looming world diaper crisis sure is going to stink

2 hrs ago

Beware, parents of small, waste-making babies. If your wee one has yet to master the art of the seated toilet, it may be time to stock up on Huggies. Reports are breaking that an explosion in Japan has devastated a chemical plant that supplies one fifth of the global diaper market. In short: worldwide diaper shortage. The stinky news is coming from a facility near Osaka run by Nippon Shokubai Co., which controls the largest share of the global market for super-absorbent polymers. The polymers are used to make the diapers more absorbent and, if operations stay down, it could mean a lot of cloths and washrags on your horizon. [Source]

Global nappy shortage fears after factory explosion

The world could face a shortage of disposable nappies after an explosion and fire at a chemical plant in Japan responsible for as much as one fifth of the global market.

On average, a child in Britain gets through as many as 6,500 nappies in the first two-and-a-half-years of his or her life. Photo: ALAMY

The blast, which killed a firefighter and injured 35 other emergency service workers, occurred after a fire caused by a chemical reaction broke out on Saturday afternoon at a plant operated by Nippon Shokubai Co. in the city of Himeji, close to Osaka in central Japan.

Nippon Shokubai controls the largest share of the world market for super-absorbent polymers, which is used in the production of nappies, and has been expanding its international sales network to keep up with demand.

According to the company, demand is so high that its production facilities have been required to operate at full capacity and it has announced plans to set up production facilities overseas. The company was particularly keen to meet growing demand for disposable nappies in China.

The water-absorbing polymers soak up an infant's waste through hydrogen bonding with water molecules. Generally, nappies that utilise the technology are able to absorb 50 times their own weight of liquid. If the operation of the factory is suspended for a long time, it could affect production.

Before it was destroyed, the Himeji plant produced 320,000 tons of the super-absorbent polymer, according to the Sankei newspaper, about 20 per cent of the global share.

Pressure will now increase on the company's other production facilities to meet the shortfall.

On average, a child in Britain gets through as many as 6,500 nappies in the first two-and-a-half-years of his or her life, according to research by Surrey County Council.

According to the Women's Environmental Network, three billion nappies are thrown away in the UK every year, around eight million every day. Of that total, more than 90 per cent are disposed of in landfill sites.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 16 billion disposable nappies are used every year in the US.

Television footage of the blaze showed the gutted building, with a fire engine also damaged in the explosion. Some 500 staff had to be evacuated.

"The explosion shook our doors so much that we though it was an earthquake," a local resident told national broadcaster NHK.

by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 7:53 AM
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Replies (1-3):
MommaGreenhalge
by Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 8:07 AM
1 mom liked this
Lol. Glad I use cloth. The diapers available are also going to get more expensive.
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Courtney610
by Courtney on Oct. 1, 2012 at 8:08 AM
Uh-oh. Luckily, our diaper days are gone!
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maciymommieof3
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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month...THINK PINK...
Yesterday at 11:06 PM
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 9:15 AM
1 mom liked this

 glad we are not in the diaper stage anymore....although my hubby joked and said his dad could be in trouble....LOL

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