Fears of Possible Diaper Shortage After Plant Explosion
Global diaper production may possibly drop following a chemical tank explosion at the Himeji plant in Japan.
Plant owner Nippon Shokubai Co. is one of the biggest manufacturers of acrylic acid, the main ingredient in disposable diapers. The fire in the plant occurred last Saturday afternoon after flames from an acid residue tank spread across the area, causing two massive explosions. The accident killed one firefighter and injured 33 others.
Acrylic acid is a key ingredient of the superabsorbent polymers (SAP) used in diapers. Nippon Shokubai produces 20% of the global SAP which means that we may be possibly short a few diapers soon.
Nippon Shokubai spokesman Akira Kurusu explained that they have reached out to other manufacturers to ramp up their production of SAP. Kurusu had no comment as to whether or not overall costs and supply would be affected.