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Blast at the Nippon Shokubai Plant may Trigger Global Nappy Shortage

by Savitha C Muppala on October 5, 2012 at 5:51 PM
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 Blast at the Nippon Shokubai Plant may Trigger Global Nappy Shortage

There may be a huge shortage of nappies following an explosion at a factory in Japan.

The blast at the Nippon Shokubai plant in the city of Himeji near Osaka killed one firefighter and injured another 35 emergency workers.

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According to firefighters' reports, a tank at the factory exploded on Saturday, which was caused by a chemical reaction, News.com.au reported.

Television footage showed a continuing blaze gutting a portion of the factory, filled with dozens of smoke stacks and a layered web of industrial piping.
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It is a worrying situation as Nippon Shokubai controls about one fifth of the world's production of super-absorbent polymers - used in the production of nappies.

The polymers soak up a baby's wee through hydrogen bonding with water molecules. It's what "pulls the wetness away".

A nappy that uses the polymers can absorb 50 times their weight of liquid.

Source: ANI
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