Teenagers in Java Getting High on Sanitary Pads

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Teenagers in Jakarta and Central Java are getting high from drinking water that had been used to boil menstrual pads. The National Narcotics Agency`s Central Java (BNNP) found more cases in Grobogan, Kudus, Pati, Rembang, and Semarang. In Jakarta, the case happened in Bekasi and Karawang.

    This new method of getting high was first discovered in February in Lemahabang, Tempuran and Telagasari, Karawang.

    Sitty Hikmawatty, a member of the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) in the field of health and narcotics, pripotropic, addictive substances (NAFZA), said the number of teenagers doing this to get high is increasing.

    "In 2017, there were only a few. Nowadays more and more of them are doing it. This is very disturbing," Sitty told Tempo on Friday, November 9. She did not mention the exact number and where the information is from. 

    A chemical researcher at Bandung's Institute of Technology, Yessi Permana, said that products such as sanitary napkins, diapers and sweat absorbers contain superabsorbent polymers (SAP) which are irritants to the eyes. One type of polymer that is often used for such products is sodium polyacrylate.

    "As listed on the material safety data sheet (MSDS), that content irritates the eye because it has absorbent qualities. It should be prevented from entering the body," Yessi said.