First-ever flushable, compostable pregnancy test to hit shelves next year – National

by pregnancy journalist

They’re not very discreet, tricky to aim properly and they end up in landfill with all other plastic waste. Pregnancy tests haven’t really evolved since the 1980s, but a Philadelphia company is trying to change that.

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Lia Diagnostics has created the first-ever biodegradable pregnancy test that can be flushed down the toilet and the product received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for over-the-counter use last week.

The device ditches all plastic and digital components and is constructed out of paper. They say it uses the same plant fibres as most toilet paper brands and weighs less than six squares of the leading brand of three-ply bathroom tissue.

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The paper pregnancy test has a coating that repels liquid long enough to take the test, but eventually breaks down like toilet paper when flushed.

Lia CEO Bethany Edwards says two million pounds of plastic and digital waste from at-home pregnancy tests end up in U.S. landfills every year.

With a background in materials science research and product design, Edwards and co-founder Anna Simpson sought to redesign the generic pregnancy test.

“Single-use diagnostics are only used for a couple of minutes and they’re all made out of plastic and non-sustainable materials,” Edwards told TechCrunch. “It’s been the same stick test since 1987 and that’s kind of crazy.”

The new device works like the traditional at-home test, measuring hormone levels in the user’s urine. Two indicator lines appear to signal whether the hormone is detected and one line if not.

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The company says – like most traditional tests – that the Lia is 99 per cent accurate when used on the first day of the user’s expected period.

The difference is that the user doesn’t have to worry about disposing of the test discreetly, no matter what the desired result may be.

Edwards pointed out that, for example, women who are trying to get pregnant are frequently using pregnancy tests and “have trouble hiding the pileup of tests in the trash,” further adding to the stigma of infertility.

Users will be able to purchase the pregnancy test on Amazon starting mid-2018, with the device priced between US$9 to US$20 (the price range of at-home pregnancy tests already on the market). The company says it will provide one pregnancy test to non-profits such as Quebec’s SOS Grossesse and Planned Parenthood for every $10 donation it receives.

This content was originally published here.

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