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Absorbent Hygiene Products

Modern disposable absorbent hygiene products (AHPs) have made an important contribution to the quality of life and skin health of millions of people. Users of AHPs (i.e. baby diapers, feminine hygiene products and adult incontinence products) benefit from the softness, smoothness, leakage prevention, strength and protection provided by nonwoven fabrics.

Some examples of where nonwovens are used

Typical diaper composition

Typical feminine hygiene product composition
Typical tampon composition

Typical incontinence product composition 

About baby diapers

Baby diapers are safely used every day by parents all over the world. Since single-use diapers were invented in the 1930s, they have constantly improved and become lighter over the years. Diapers are skin friendly options for your baby as they help keeping your child's skin dry. More information about baby diapers is available in the below infographic. 

Diapers and Nappies

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About your pad, liner or tampon (feminine care products)

Pads, liners and tampons are safely used by women all over the world, and are a popular choice for women during menstruation.

EDANA’s member companies include manufacturers of pads and tampons and companies who supply the raw materials. Over the years, EDANA has gathered much expertise and knowledge about the components of these products, how they are regulated and what advice women need about their use. This expertise falls under the umbrella of EDANA’s Absorbent Hygiene Working Group
How theyre made_Pads   Tampons how theyre made

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Tampons: How they're made or Pads_How theyre made

Feminine care products composition: 
Common nomenclature_AHP_Tampons image  
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Common nomenclature_AHP_Pads-liners image
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Pad & Liner

Safety and labelling of tampons

Tampons have a long history of use across the globe, with millions of products in safe daily use.

Tampons are made of well-proven materials that are also used in a variety of other everyday products which have proven safety profiles. The raw materials are carefully selected for the highest quality and undergo extensive safety evaluation to ensure a lack of harmful effects and good tolerability before they are approved and used during manufacturing. In order to deliver a safe product, tampons are made under high quality production control standards including a series of checks and tests based on company quality assurance systems and user monitoring programmes.

Within the European Union tampons must comply with the General Product Safety Directive that holds manufacturers responsible for providing consumers with products that are safe to use. You can read more about the legal requirements and the voluntary guidelines applied in the industry in EDANA’s “Safety and Regulatory Supply Chain Information for Absorbent Hygiene Care Products Dec.2016”.

In addition, tampon manufacturers in Europe follow the “EU Tampons Code of Practice”, or a national equivalent. The Code of Practice was published to harmonise relevant consumer information in all EU countries, irrespective of the tampon brand used. Key elements of the Code of Practice include information and advice on correct tampon use, information about Toxic Shock Syndrome, a standardised test method to ensure the absorbency ratings are consistent across all manufacturers/brands and a droplet system that categorises the absorbency of tampons into six classes. To ensure safe use of the product, manufacturers recommend reading the detailed instructions inside the packaging, as well as information on the packaging itself.

Nonwovens: The key to an effective and efficient AHP

Nonwovens are used in baby diapers, feminine hygiene products and incontinence products as:
  • Top sheet or coverstock
  • Leg cuff
  • Acquisition / distribution layer
  • Core wrap
  • Back sheet
  • Stretch ears
  • Landing zone
  • Dusting layer
  • Fastening systems

The advantages of using nonwovens instead of traditional textiles

  • Excellent absorption
  • Softness
  • Smoothness
  • Stretchability
  • Comfort and fit
  • Strength
  • Double fluid barrier effect allowing moisture to be absorbed and retained
  • Good uniformity
  • High strength and elasticity
  • Good strike through, wet back and run off
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Stability and tear resistance
  • Opacity / stain hiding power
  • High breathability
Companies supplying products or services related to absorbent hygiene products

Main technologies used

Other components of absorbent hygiene products

EDANA | Avenue Herrmann Debroux 46-B-1160 Brussels, Belgium | Tel: +32 2 734 93 10