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IIT Hyderabd professor develops revolutionary new material for sanitary pads

Think Change India
21st Sep 2016
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A team of engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad has developed a nanofibers-based feminine hygiene product without super-absorbent polymers. This technology can go a long way in revolutionising the feminine hygiene sector.

Image : (L) - IITH; (R) - wikiHow
Image : (L) - IITH; (R) - wikiHow

Professor Chandra Shekhar Sharma, from the Chemical Engineering Department of IIT Hyderabad, and his team have introduced the use of electrospun cellulose acetate nanofibers as a material for an absorbent core in feminine sanitary napkins, according to PTI.

This nanofibers-based material will also eliminate the use of harmful, non-biodegradable super-absorbent polymers from commercially available sanitary napkins without compromising the performance, while enhancing its absorbency and comfort. According to Prof Sharma -

"(The) nanofibers-based feminine hygiene products provide 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 statement issued by IIT Hyderabad noted that menstrual hygiene is an important issue for every woman, as poor menstrual hygiene increases the vulnerability towards reproductive tract infections. Prof Sharma adds -

"The main focus of this work is to minimise the use of super-absorbent polymers 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."

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, such as super-absorbent polymers, present in the commercially available sanitary napkins. These are petroleum-based products and therefore do not degrade readily in landfills, and are also not eco-friendly, the release said.

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