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.
— Elizabeth Weiss (@WeissWords) October 2, 2012
bought 3 cases of diapers. There may not be a diaper shortage, but we are prepared nonetheless.
— Lindsey (@adollopofmylife) October 1, 2012
Plenty of people are also taking the opportunity to promote cloth diapers.
— Area events Radio (@AreaeventsRadio) October 1, 2012
— Jill Crawford (@MamaCrawford2) October 1, 2012
…and diaper producers are trying to reassure a nervous public.
Procter & Gamble: "We do not expect a significant impact" when asked about rumors of a diaper shortage.
— Justin Lear (@CNNJustin) October 1, 2012
Of course, some people were just too busy laughing to worry about the impending smelliness that could bring society to its knees.
bacon shortage and disposable diaper shortage…oh my, the world is ending for some class of folks….LMAO
— Jen (@SassyGayPeyton) October 1, 2012
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:
Explosions at Japanese chemical plant kill one, injure 30 in Himeji – http://t.co/vxVWxoe6
— The Japan Times (@japantimes) September 30, 2012
Himeji, Japan: A firefighter died when a fire in a tank of acrylic acid triggered a series of explosions at a chemi… http://t.co/jzIeYjls
— Fire World (@IndFireWorld) October 1, 2012