Tweeters have been alternately fretting and snarking all day as news of a potential global diaper shortage spreads. The odoriferous disaster could occur thanks to an explosion Saturday at a chemical plant in the Japanese city of Himeji. Owned by the Nippon Shokubai Company, the plant produces 20% of the world’s supply of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) and 10% of the world’s acrylic acid. Both of these compounds are very, very important for the manufacture of disposable diapers.
Many people are legitimately worried about what could happen as the price spikes hit the fan.
Plenty of people are also taking the opportunity to promote cloth diapers.
…and diaper producers are trying to reassure a nervous public.
Of course, some people were just too busy laughing to worry about the impending smelliness that could bring society to its knees.
In all seriousness, though, there is more to this story than diapers. The explosion was a genuine disaster and our hearts should go out to the victims: