Determination of the solids retainment effectiveness of disposable swim diapers

J Environ Health. 2004 Jun;66(10):16-20, 28.


In light of recent and increasing incidences of pathogenic E. coli outbreaks at public bathing facilities attributable to non-toilet-trained infants and toddlers, many such facilities are restricting water contact for this age group. A number of manufacturers are now offering disposable "swim diapers," which claim to effectively retain fecal material under typical pool play conditions. The study reported here examined the solids retention effectiveness of three major brands of swim diapers as well as of conventional disposable diapers, under simulated water play conditions. Swim diapers of all three brands exhibited an approximately equal fine-solids retention capability of about 98 to 99 percent over 30 minutes of water immersion activity. Conventional disposable diapers invariably fell down or came apart during the experiments, resulting in very limited solids retention. This study indicates that commercially available swim diapers represent a vast improvement in reducing the potential for fecal material release in public pool facilities, but that some release will still generally occur with these products.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diapers, Infant / standards*
  • Disposable Equipment / standards*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / prevention & control
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Georgia
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Linear Models
  • Materials Testing
  • Soil
  • Swimming Pools
  • Time Factors
  • Water Microbiology*


  • Soil