Innovation from IIT Hyderabad: Eco-Friendly Sanitary Napkins

What are the other options? And could they be successful bets?

Ria Das
Oct 01, 2016 03:58 IST
NCW sanitary napkin vending machines edu institutions, Delhi HC Directs Woman To Provide Pads

Menstruation is a monthly reality for women. And in India, it's socio-economic concerns more than hygiene or comfort, which determine whether women use scrap cloth from old saris and towels, or sanitary pads. Women are also vulnerable to reproductive tract infections... not to mention having to deal with myths and taboos about menstruation.  And that's not all -- according to Ecofemme, on an average, a single woman generates 125kg of disposable sanitary waste during her menstruating years.


Here's a look at potential game-changers:


An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad-based team of engineers have developed an eco-friendly sanitary napkin. The team led by Professor Chandra Shekhar Sharma, says their eco-friendly sanitary napkins will be more comfortable as they don't have any of the harmful chemicals mixed in commercially available products -- and that electrospun cellulose acetate nanofibers will enhance absorption. They can also be safely disposed owing to their biodegradable nature.


Meet Aditi Gupta of Menstrupedia

“Nanofibers based feminine hygiene products (without super absorbent polymer or SAP) provides a safe alternative to female hygiene as we know that prolonged use of commercially available products may even lead to toxic shock syndrome and ovarian cancer,” a statement issued by IIT Hyderabad said, as reported by Indian Express.

Also Read: Urmila Chaman’s campaign to break the silence around menstruation is doing a bloody good job


“The more the surface area of the fibres the more will be the absorption capacity,” Prof. Sharma said in a statement, reported by The Hindu. “The nanofibre has 4-8 times the surface area of microfiber."

2. Arunachalam Muruganantham, Jayashree Industries

Arunachalam Muruganantham is something of a legend -- Popularly known as the ‘Menstrual Man’ in India, he created a sanitary napkin-making machine which produces quality products at a lower cost. Each machine can make 1,000 napkins a day for as little as Rs 16 per 8-pack. Catering especially to rural women, the machines are deliberately kept simple, so that they can operate them. The machines cost approximately Rs 80,000. There are also plans to expand to other countries, and one thing's for sure - this is a man on a mission.


Watch The Video Here: ">Arunachalam Muruganantham: The first man to wear a sanitary napkin

3. Menstrual Cup

Rather than using a regular napkin during menstruation, which could be irritating sometimes, a new type of menstrual cups are now available in India made of medical grade silicon. Inserted during your period, it collects the blood when you place the cup inside the vagina. It has to be cleaned regularly, but users swear by it -- saying that you escape the smell and rashes and itchiness that can often accompany sanitary napkins.


Here Is A Detailed Demo: The miracle menstrual cup and me by Poorvi Gupta

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#Women Hygiene #IIT Hyderabad Engineers #Eco-Friendly Sanitary Napkins #menstrual taboos in India #menstrual health campaign #Menstruation