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Substances of Interest in Disposable Absorbent Hygiene Products

Posted 02/26/2021 by Author: Ameara Mansour, Global New Product Director

Disposable absorbent hygiene products (AHPs), which are produced for baby, adult, and feminine care, have evolved with the availability of advanced materials, their superior function to drastically improve quality of care, and improved convenience. The global hygiene industry is expected to continue its recovery upswing as economies start to rebound in 2021. One challenge to the industry has been questions about the presence of trace chemicals, also known as substances of interest (SOI), in disposable hygiene products. Media from different countries have published reports and articles on trace chemicals, particularly in baby diapers and feminine care products. Awareness among consumers is increasing every day, and, at the same time, questions and concerns on product safety has gained a lot of attention. Consumers are demanding more ingredient transparency, and rebuilding consumer trust is a joint goal of the hygiene industry, across all players in the value chain.

Continue reading to learn more about SOI concerns and how H.B. Fuller is addressing SOI concerns.

Substances of Interest Concern in Hygiene

Substances of Interest Concern in Hygiene Chart

EDANA, the leading global trade association for nonwovens in Europe, has long advocated for the safety of AHPs. To provide greater assurance for consumers, EDANA also created a stewardship program and taskforce to set common SOI targets for the hygiene industry. H.B. Fuller has been an active part of this taskforce, including advising on the analytical method to be used for SOI analysis and defining SOI reference limits. EDANA has since published its Codex™ guidance document, outlining the list of trace chemicals, guidance values, and relevant test methods. Signatories to the stewardship program then undertake actions to provide transparency and reassurance to consumers. This program is open to all producers and is in line with the European Commission’s advocacy of product safety codes of good practice in the General Product Safety Directive.

AHPs are produced with many different components. Some examples of the raw materials used to create AHPs include nonwovens, fluff, elastics, SAP, and adhesives; adhesives are often one of the smallest categories of raw materials, typically less than 5% of the total article weight. Any component might be a potential source of SOI.

At H.B. Fuller, we help manufacturers of AHPs to deliver safe articles that are compliant with SOI targets. Understanding and reducing sources of SOIs is a priority for us. We have put in place precautionary measures, including comprehensive screening of raw materials, reducing the potential for contamination during processing, and tailoring formula approaches.

Determining SOI presence and risk assessment

H.B. Fuller has world-class regulatory know-how and expertise, and is equipped with world-class equipment and analytical capabilities. This expertise is used alongside extensive third-party testing to complement an existing comprehensive database, built over many years, that enables predictive analysis, a greater understanding of the source and, subsequently, reduction in SOI.

We support the hygiene industry’s commitment to transparency and can be a strong partner to address SOI concerns and build a better and safer future.


Below you will find 5 reasons to partner with H.B. Fuller on addressing SOI concerns


Setting Future SOI Standards

  • Member of EDANA task force focused on identifying SOI list and limits
  • Worked with EDANA sub-team on developing test methods for SOI analysis

World-Class Regulatory Excellence

  • Network of regulatory and eco-label specialists
  • Cross-functional steering team of global SOI experts

In-Depth Raw Material Know-How

  • Extensive raw material database for predictive SOI analysis
  • On-going collaboration with global raw material suppliers

Analytical Capabilities

  • In-house analytical equipment for select SOI tests
  • Partnership with leading laboratories for independent third-party evaluation

Customer-Focused Mindset

  • Access to SOI experts for advice
  • Training courses tailored to your need setting future SOI standards

Contact us today if you have any SOI questions. H.B. Fuller is a leading global provider of hygiene adhesives. We're always looking to proactively meet our customers’ needs and offer market-leading innovations. Click here learn more about our sustainable solutions for the hygiene and nonwoven market.

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