IIT Hyderabad develops eco-friendly sanitary napkins

The main focus of this work is to minimise the use of SAPs in feminine hygiene products considering their possible adverse health effects

By: Express Web Desk | Hyderabad | Published:September 21, 2016 2:15 pm

A team from Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad has developed a safe alternative to female hygiene products without super-absorbent polymers (SAP).

Under professor Chandra Shekhar Sharma, faculty, chemical engineering, the team has introduced the use of electrospun cellulose acetate nanofibers as a material for an absorbent core in feminine sanitary napkins.

The use of electrospun cellulose acetate (CA) nanofibers as a material for absorbent core in feminine sanitary napkins and to eliminate the use of harmful, non-biodegradable SAP from commercially available sanitary napkins without compromising the performance, rather with more enhanced absorbency and comfort.

In a statement issued by IIT Hyderabad, Prof Sharma said, “Nanofibers based feminine hygiene products (without SAP) provides a safe alternative to female hygiene as we know that prolonged use of commercially available products may even lead to toxic shock syndrome and ovarian cancer.”

“The main focus of this work is to minimise the use of SAPs in feminine hygiene products considering their possible adverse health effects. For this, we intend to fabricate cellulose-based nanofibers and suggest their use as absorbent core in feminine hygiene products,” he added.

The statement noted that menstrual hygiene is an important issue for every woman, as poor menstrual hygiene increases the vulnerability towards reproductive tract infections.

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Among the different types of feminine hygiene products that are commercially available, sanitary napkins are the most common and disposable absorbent hygiene product.

However, there are some harmful chemicals, like SAP, present in the commercially available sanitary napkins, are petroleum-based products and therefore do not degrade readily in landfills and are also not eco-friendly, the release added.

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