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to the Disposable Diaper

predecessor to disposable diapers was disposable pads made of cellulose wadding
and cotton wool placed within reusable cloth or plastic garments. It is
disputed when the first disposable diaper was first introduced; however, one
design was the first to be patented in 1948, and, soon after, commercially produced
in 1949. These diapers were made with cellulose wadding and cotton wool facing
placed inside waterproof pants. This lead to the introduction of the Proctor
& Gamble brand Pampers in 1961. Their original diapers were of a layered,
all-in-one design consisting of fluff pulp absorbent padding, a rayon topsheet,
and a polyethylene backsheet. In 1966 Pampers introduce a new wingfold design.
Originally, Pampers came in two sizes, but throughout the years the company
began to produce more sizes (a third size in 1969, toddler and premature baby
sizes in 1971, and a size six diaper in 1998 – Huggies brand also produced this
size diaper). In 1971 Pampers replaced the pin-on design with tape fasteners.
Elastic single and double leg and waist gussets were added to the Pampers
design in 1973. In 1976 the Luvs brand introduced an hourglass shape design,
which became an industry standard by 1985. In 1982 Pampers added elastic to the
wingfolds and made the tapes refastenable. One major innovation also happened
in 1982 with the introduction of superabsorbent polymers (SAP – originally
intended for use in soil amendment) in the UK; Pampers and Huggies brands began
using this gelling material in their diapers soon after in the USA as well. Up
until this time, the absorbing padding in diapers was cellulose or fiber based.
SAP made diapers less bulky and up to five-times as absorbent. However, it was
prone to “gel blocking” where the top layer would soak up to its capacity and
restrict liquid flow to the lower layers; this issue was resolved in the 1990s
by cross-linking… more stuff

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from the Age of a Diaper’s Design

certain characteristics and features of any particular diaper developed in
certain years, I believe it can be possible to potentially determine a rough
age of a diaper found buried beneath the soil surface. For instance, if a
diaper is identified as gender specific Pampers diaper, it can be deduced?
that this diaper is anywhere from 28 years to 18 years old pampers introduced
gender specific diapers in the 90s and they were discontinued by the end of the
decade. Furthermore, any soil event below the layer the diaper was found
happened no later than 1990, and no earlier than 2000. One particular diaper
feature/characteristic that may be helpful, is the size six baby diaper.
Pampers and Huggies both introduced their size six diapers at about the same
time. If a diaper found within the soil surface is determined to be a size six
diaper, we can conclude that this layer of soil was placed no earlier than
1998, 20 years ago. If the violation claim is another word for determined to
be from 1990, then depending on other soil conditions and clues, it can be deduced… JP1 

about discontinued products


of Materials

a disposable diaper may take up to 500 years to degrade, making it practically
impossible to determine how long a diaper has been in the soil by its degrading
condition alone – keeping in mind disposable diapers have only been around less
than 80 years. The outer, waterproof linings of disposable diapers are made of
plastic films. Typically, most plastic is non-biodegradable (having the ability
to be decomposed by living organisms); however, over time, it will break up
into smaller and smaller pieces and, ultimately, release toxins bisphenol A and
PS oligomer into the environment.


Items That May Be Found

it is difficult and inaccurate to age diapers and plastics, I believe it would
be helpful to acknowledge the degradation of other items that may be commonly
found buried beneath the soil.

Cigarette butts: 1-12 years

Rope: 3-14 months

Paper: 2-5 months

Paperboard cartons (typically plastic –
polyethylene – or wax coated): 5 years

out a more detailed way of explaining this section

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