Lia Diagnostics, run by women, engineered the first biodegradable at-home pregnancy test. It can be flushed down your toilet, ensuring your privacy.
In 2017, Lia Diagnostics created the world's first biodegradable at-home pregnancy test. Before the company's invention, the pregnancy test had not been updated for several years. This meant that landfills were quickly filling up with plastic pregnancy tests and those who had used the tests had to confront the fear of being "caught out," that is, their privacy was threatened. The Lia test, which can be flushed down the toilet, thus ensures a person's privacy while also making sure our planet is not worse off. What's even cooler is that the test was developed by an all-woman team of scientists.
While most "flushable" products, like baby wipes, for example, have received backlash for clogging up plumbing systems and not actually being biodegradable, the team at Lia Diagnostics assures their users that the test is safe to flush. The company spends a considerable amount of time and resources educating its users about how to safely flush the test in order to protect plumbing systems as well as our planet. The test is flushable as it dissolves completely once it is put in wastewater. For those in older homes or buildings with more "sensitive" plumbing systems, Lia Diagnostics recommends tearing the test into multiple pieces and letting it dissolve for a couple of minutes before flushing it down the toilet.
For those who would like to compost the test, that is possible too. The test, made in the USA and verified for biodegradability by using ISO 16929 Municipal Composting Study standards, is 98.2 percent biodegradable in soil after three months. At present, the Lia pregnancy test comes packaged in sustainably sourced card stock but they are working on creating biodegradable packaging as well. What is especially awesome about Lia Diagnostics is the fact that the company is run by an all-woman team. Founded by Bethany Edwards, Lia raised $2.6 million in funding for its biodegradable pregnancy tests just under two years ago.
"We carefully considered every aspect of the design, functionality, and user experience," Edwards shared after the test was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. "Through our development process we needed to analyze materials for suitability for not only flushability and biodegradability, but also for running our pregnancy diagnostic. We had to develop a way for the test to hold up long enough to run the test without falling apart, but then fall apart quickly in the sewer system. We have created hundreds of prototypes, iterating continuously for performance, testing both in our lab and in the hands of women." The company continues to develop water-dispersible, biodegradable diagnostics that are better for the user and the environment.