Absorbent hygiene products (AHPs) have made an important contribution to the quality of life and skin health of millions of people. Users of absorbent hygiene products benefit from the softness, smoothness, leakage prevention, strength and protection provided by nonwovens.
Nonwovens are used in baby diapers, feminine hygiene, adult incontinence and personal care products. They are used in multiple elements of the products. Such as top sheet or cover stock, leg cuff, acquisition/distribution layer, core wrap, back sheet, stretch ears, landing zone, dusting layer and fastening systems.
Benefits of using nonwovens: they are the key to effective and efficient absorbent hygiene products
Main technologies used are; Airlaid, Carded nonwovens, Spunmelt. Other components of absorbent hygiene products are; fluff pulp, superabsorbent polymers, impervious backing films, adhesives and elastics.
Sometimes reports mention chemical traces in absorbent hygiene products for women and babies. It is important to understand that chemical traces may come from different sources in our daily environment, that everything in life, including products that we use every day and the food we eat, contains chemicals, both natural and synthetic in origin. Occasionally when trace chemicals are identified it does not mean that they present a health risk in any way to consumers. For many years, billions of absorbent hygiene products have been safely used by people all over the world. EDANA’s member companies – the product manufacturers and their suppliers - keep safety at the very heart of what they do.
EDANA’s member companies – the product manufacturers and their suppliers - keep safety at the very heart of what they do.
Some misconceptions revolve around how absorbent hygiene products are manufactured and what their components are. The reality is that these products are constructed from raw materials such as cellulose pulp, the same material paper is made of, and polyester that you will find in your clothes and your sportswear.
The final products and their components are made of natural or man-made materials such as cellulose pulp, viscose, cotton, super absorbent materials, polymers such as polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene and various adhesives.
Absorbent hygiene products are produced in several steps in compliance with local and international safety standards and regulations.
Raw materials are selected according to strict quality criteria and during manufacture, rigorous quality control systems and good manufacturing practices are in place to ensure the highest hygienic standards are met.
Additional information about absorbent hygiene products, including how they are made can be found the following documents baby diapers composition and menstrual pads and liners composition.
Manufacturers are consistently examining their products in market and actively respond to consumer comments or questions. They also provide information about safety assessments to regulatory bodies. To learn more about regulatory requirements or voluntary guidelines that the industry has adopted for absorbent hygiene products, consult the Product stewardship page , the Regulatory affairs page and the document 'Supply Chain Information for Personal Care Products’.
Posters presented at the Toxicology Forum meeting “Determining Relevant Low-Level Chemical Exposures for Safety Assessments of Consumer Products” May 20–22, 2019 Brussels, Belgium
Chemicals which are found in very low amounts (some barely detectable, measured in parts per billion or even parts per trillion) are referred to as “residues” and/or “traces”.
How traces are identified depends upon what analysis is used and how sensitive it is. Today it is possible to detect smaller and smaller amounts of substances by using advanced analysis and detection techniques – even at amounts that are well below the levels that are established as safe for human use/consumption.
Some tests use harsh methods to extract the various elements from a product, which while effective for measurement, does not represent the real conditions under which people use absorbent hygiene products. These stringent tests often involve the shredding of products and use chemical solvents which we do not have on our skin. A better alternative is to extract elements using a solution of salt in water, which better reflects real life conditions, and the relevant exposure during use by consumers.
January 2021: EDANA POSITION PAPERS ON TAMPONS
Cotton and rayon absorbent fibres used to manufacture menstrual tampons are equally safe for product safety including the risk for contracting TSS.
Tampon manufacturers in Europe have organised themselves within the Absorbent Hygiene Products Working Group of EDANA to coordinate the activities of the tampon manufacturing industry in areas of mutual interest.
January 2019: EDANA STATEMENT ON ANSES DIAPER REPORT - Manufacturers’ association reasserts safety of products
EDANA, the trade association representing most manufacturers of baby diapers in EMEA, today received notification of the study on diaper safety by the French government agency ANSES. The industry: