Please don't use Sodium polyacrylate

Sodium polyacrylate has become a trending topic in Facebook. Many people have asked whether Sodium Polyacrylate can be used to clear off flood water?. The post that mislead many read as follows: “ Adding two spoons of Sodium Polyacrylate can cause water to crystallize within a matter of seconds which can then be easily swept off.” Before we provide further clarification on the topic, it is important to know what is Sodium Polyacrylate? Sodium polyacrylate is the sodium solution of the acrylic polymer “polyacrylate” and has the chemical formula [-CH2-CH(CO2Na)-]. It is the same substance that is used in sanitary napkins and diapers due to its ability to absorb liquids more than 200-300 times its weight. It isn’t too harmful either. The real problem lies in the fact that Sodium Polyacrylate doesn’t entirely crystallize water, rather it changes it into a gel like form. This makes the process of cleaning even more tedious and troublesome since it can’t be swept away easily. In muddy water, it makes things worse since it loses it property to coagulate water properly thus creating a messier situation. Throwing away water in this gel form can prove to be harmful to the environment as the gel doesn’t degrade or get dissolved in the mud, thus having the same effect as plastic. Thus it is advisable to throw off water using a bucket or a pump since it is more efficient and environmentally friendly.

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