"Flammable!" Should packaging for  adult diapers carry warnings?

David Bellm

January 29, 2014

1 Min Read
"Flammable!" Should packaging for 
adult diapers carry warnings?

150979-fire_matt_otto_v2.jpgAre adult diapers a fire hazard that requires special warning on the packaging? The family of an elderly man who burned to death while smoking on a deck believes so.  Their father, who had worn adult diapers since 2006, was killed when a spark from his cigarette contacted his adult diaper, causing it to burst into flames.

The family wants such products to carry a warning detailing the hazards to be required on the packaging of such products, reports an article on the website of Seattle, WA news station KIRO 7.

Fire investigator Rick Freier reportedly went to the scene of the accident. "The undergarment is made of petroleum product,” he told KIRO 7. “It is a man-made synthetic material that burns with the heat and intensity of flame. Take a pint of gasoline and strap it to you in a solid state. That's what it is."

But is it the responsibility of packagers to warn consumers of the hazard? Although the accident is undeniably tragic, it appears that such incidents are relatively rare.

Nonetheless, the question of special labeling for these products will almost certainly be raised in the lawsuit being filed by the victim’s family. It involves the manufacturer of the diaper, as well as the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and the owners of the Spokane Valley care facility where the man lived.

KIRO 7 article, “Death Shows How Flammable Adult Diapers Are” (Includes video and slideshow of investigation, along PDF of fire investigator’s report.)


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