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Chemical Plant Explosion Could Mean Global Diaper Shortage

By Madeline Holler |

disposable diapers, hoarding diapers

Time to start hoarding?

Forget porkopalypse. The pending potential crisis for millions and millions is a possible worldwide diaper shortage.

An explosion Saturday at a Japanese chemical plant, which produces a key element in disposable diapers, could slow production of disposable diapers everywhere and possibly drive up the price.

The chemical plant, Nippon Shokubai, produces about 10 percent of the world supply of acrylic acid, which is used to make SAP, a resin substance and key component in diapers.

Nippon Shokubai produces one-fifth the world supply of SAP. Other SAP-makers have been operating at full capacity, according to an NBC and Reuters report on the explosion, and it is not yet known when Nippon Shokubai will be coming back online at full speed.

The explosion killed one firefighter and injured at least 30 others. It happened after a fire broke out in the afternoon. Emergency workers were spraying an acrylic acid tank with water, which caused the first of two explosions. A second explosion followed shortly thereafter, causing more fires.

All this means if you find a good price on disposable diapers today, you might want to hoard a few extra boxes. A shortage could mean higher prices.

Cloth diaper users everywhere rejoice.


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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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2 thoughts on “Chemical Plant Explosion Could Mean Global Diaper Shortage

  1. Sanriobaby =^.^= says:

    This is a good excuse to try out those Honest brand diapers I’ve been eyeing for a while :) I’d love to hear some opinions about this brand if you’ve using them! Thanks in advance!

  2. sumlady says:

    I ordered the honest diapers when they had a zulily offer a while back. I liked them for the most part. They did the job about as good as other diapers. I did not like the way they fit my son. They didn’t seem to catch the blowouts as well.

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