Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

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  • Regina
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Re: Reply: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

This is an interesting one, how long can it be reused, I mean the of times: menstrual waste disposal, management and laundry in emerging situation.

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  • torbenholmlarsen
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Re: Reply: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Dear Siri and Susannah,

My reply is to both of you - trying not to spam the forum.

Siri, I shared the study we made with Safepad in cooperation with Solidarities International in Myanmar with you, you probably haven't read it yet. In this study the drying time of Safepad was evaluated. The result was that the users estimated the drying time to be between 1 and 1,5 hours in the dry season and up to 3 hours in the wet season. You are completely right about your comment that this is due to the fabric of the pad. Safepad is also made out of Polyester - 3 different sorts of materials, upper layer is a soft material that lets fluid pass, middle layer is highly absorbent microfiber and the back layer is water proof thin material - all are however 100% Polyester.

Susannah, the thin cotton sheets that are often used are reclaimed materials taken from any available source, be it old shirt, towels or other cloths, matress filing seems to be popular as well, even cow dung are reported being used. Obviously the user in many cases has little control over how clean these materials are before they start using them as menstruation material. Because of this and because of the risk of build up of bacteria and fungi from multiple use of regular reusable pads, we added the antimicrobial feature on Safepad - making it definitely more hygienic.

We are using Polyester because it is far more durable than cotton. A Safepad can be reused at least 100 times if care instructions are followed. Polyester is, from that perspective alone, significantly more environmentally friendly than cotton, but also the manufacturing process of Polyester gives it an environmental advantage over cotton. Cotton is probably the most poluting material around. 1 kg of cotton uses 10,000 liters of water and 16% of all insecticides used in agriculture worldwide goes into cotton growing.

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  • torbenholmlarsen
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Re: Reply: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Dear Dr. Balachandra,

I think you can access the attachment in my reply to Susannah, but just in case I am attaching it here again.

Best regards
Torben

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  • SusannahClemence
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Re: Reply: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Simple cloth, folded to shape and absorb, then opened out to wash and dry, is reported to be widely used. Surely a sheet of thin cotton will dry quickly in air and sunlight?
I do wonder whether this "traditional" menstrual wear, generally made of recycled clothes, is being displaced more because it seems old-fashioned or rustic, or for commercial reasons, than for the sake of the environment or the actual status of women.
I have read claims that cloth is "unhygienic" - I can't see any evidence that it is less hygienic than reusable pads - if it dries faster could be more hygienic.
Cloth would certainly be better for the environment than disposable pads.
Women's social status will be fully raised when menstruation is acknowledged and embraced, not by making it invisible.
The questions remain:
  • how is cloth most comfortably and effectively worn, by the wide range of women who currently use it?
  • How can menstrual cloths be promoted and celebrated as a social good?

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  • siri
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Re: Reply: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Maybe you might find it interesting to see some pilot project reports on water use and drying for different products.

For example, here is one from Imvepi refugee settlement in Uganda Imvepi

The report estimates that water for washing of the reusable materials used before the pilot (pads/cloth and underwear) was 10-15 litres per cycle, and for menstrual cups 1 litre.

It also notes that menstruators report drying time for reusable products (cloth, pads) of up to 2 days. From other pilots WoMena has been a part of, it seems drying time and conditions vary greatly. Does anyone have any additional dokumentation on that? if there is shame associated with drying, then the sorter the better. I understand polyester (as used in AfriPads) takes much less time that cotton (as used sin many other products).

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  • TRIVANDRUM03
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Re: Reply: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Kindly share a copy with me.

best regards

Dr. K Balachandra Kurup
Dr. Balan is a Governance and Institutional expert with more than three decades of working experience in WASH, waste management and developmental sector (25 years in South Asia and 15 years in Middle East and North Africa Region). He was with the International Civil Service Commission and held several senior positions with UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, ADB etc and worked as consultant with several bilateral agencies.

In 2008 he was assigned to work as the Sector Strategy and Coordination Advisor in Sudan for UNICEF and UNDP. He was Team leader and member of several planning, evaluation and capacity assessment missions at national and international level supported by United Nations, ADB, and Bilateral agencies.

He was also the Program Director of International Institute of Waste Management (IIWM), Bhopal (from 2012 to 2016) and former Vice President of National Solid Waste Association of India (NSWAI). He is the President of Global Society for Health Promotion and Education.

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  • torbenholmlarsen
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Re: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Dear Susannah,

I will be most happy to share the Jordan Safepad study with you. I am adding it as an attachment to this post.

Happy New year to you and all SuSanA members,

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  • siri
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Re: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Dear Torben,
Sounds like a very interesting study. Is it possible for you to send to me also? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Best regards
Siri

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  • RachelTTextiles
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Re: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

We are currently working on several designs of reusble liners that do not look like conventional sanitary pads. We are also looking at the broader applications of LBL (Light bladder leakage) that many women suffer from and are incorporating their felt needs into the next generation product.

We are intensively looking not only at shape, but also material selection. We have been thrilled to find several options that outperform both cotton and microfiber (the typical choices for absorbent liners in reusables). We are calling this new option a multi-use Hybrid, versus a traditional reuseable, as the cost for each liner is closer to the cost of a single use disposable pad, yet can be re-used up to 10x before it is discarded.

This hybrid liner, is as soft as cotton, but can completely biodegrade to compost in approx 40 days. So has great promise for environmental conditions, and convenience to throw-away.

Happy to keep this group informed as we conduct further R & D in 2019.

Rachel
Rachel Starkey | Transformation Textiles
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EVAWearOfficial

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  • RachelTTextiles
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Re: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Dear Torben,

I would love to also receive copies of your studies. We are looking at various reusables pad designs (that don't look like a conventional sanitary pad to work around this discomfort of drying the pad in view of men/others.

Your learnings would be valuable indeed. Please email a copy to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Rachel Starkey | Transformation Textiles
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EVAWearOfficial

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  • campbelldb
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Re: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Hi Maggie

You have probably seen this study but I am sending it just in case:


Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Nov 15;15(11). pii: E2562. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112562.

Menstrual Hygiene Management and Waste Disposal in Low and Middle Income Countries-A Review of the Literature.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) has gained some attention and several literature reviews have been published. However, both original papers and reviews tend to focus on absorbent access and use and not on the disposal of menstrual waste. This review aims to fill a gap in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector by bringing a focus specifically on menstrual hygiene safe disposal in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). We reviewed published literature since 2002 on menstrual hygiene with a focus on menstrual waste management and menstrual absorbent disposal in LMIC. Database searches were conducted of both peer reviewed literature and grey literature, in addition to hand searching of references of relevant earlier literature reviews. In total 152 articles and reports were identified and 75 met the inclusion criteria and was included in the final review. Existing polices on MHM was also reviewed with a focus on India and South Africa. The review showed that disposal of menstrual waste is often neglected MHM and sanitation value chains, leading to improper disposal and negative impacts on users, the sanitation systems and the environment. Findings call for further research to gain better understandings of MHM waste streams, disposal behaviors, absorbent materials and waste management technologies to deliver health, safety, mobility and dignity for women and girls.
Dan Campbell,
Communications/KM Specialist
Banjo Player/Busker
Haiku poet

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  • SusannahClemence
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Re: Request for practical learning on menstrual waste disposal, waste management and laundering in emergencies!

Dear Torben, and also Maggie,
I am interested in both your studies, and especially pleased to hear about the focus on disposal, waste management and particularly laundry. If it is possible to access the findings, as a lay person not a member of an academic institution, I would like to do so.
I think your point, Torben - the embarrassment at hanging out menstrual pads in the view of others - has worldwide significance.
Any ideas how we can change this embarrassment to pride, in any culture?
Best wishes
Susannah
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