There was an error in this gadget

A blog for cloth diapering Mammas. Doing our best for our babies and our Mother Earth.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Facts about disposable diapers

While pregnant with our Pixie Baby I did lots of research before deciding to cloth diaper and as our journey continues I become more and more concerned about all those babies out there in disposable diapers. My first three children sadly were disposable diaper babies and I feel sad and guilty for it. It's one of those "I wish I knew then what I know now" situations. All I can do now is help other parents make informed decisions.

Here are some basic facts about disposable diapers:

* Sodium polyacrylate is the chemical that makes disposables super-absorbent - it can absorb up to 100 times its weight in water. It can stick to baby’s genitals, cause allergic reactions, and when injected into rats caused hemorrhage, cardiovascular failure and death! In the US, this chemical was removed from tampons in 1985 when it was linked to toxic shock syndrome.

* Dioxin is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers and is the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It causes effects like birth defects and liver disease in laboratory animals.

Read the ingredients on the packaging! Here are a few to look for:

Chlorine is a carcinogenic chemical,2 a skin irritant, and toxic to humans, wildlife and the environment.3

Sodium Polyacrylate (also known as SAP or absorbent gel) is under scrutiny. The Real Diaper Association suggests that it can cause skin irritation and severe allergic reactions. 2 It was also removed from tampons in 1985 when it was linked to toxic shock syndrome.

TBT “A toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.” 2 It “can be absorbed through the skin and lead to immune system damage and disrupted hormone function.” Thilon Maack, Greenpeace toxics expert has said that “TBT is one of the most toxic substances ever made and it is being spread throughout the environment. It can be absorbed through the skin and contaminates the environment as well as people... it is absolutely irresponsible to expose babies to these extremely toxic substances”.

Plastic does not breath against the baby’s skin.

Latex can cause allergies when inhaled or contact dermatitis when in contact with skin.

Fragrance is typically another term for phthalates.


Baby wipes should leave our babies clean, not leave them with traces of harmful chemicals that can be absorbed through their skin. As author Sloan Barnett says in her book Green Goes with Everything, diaper wipes might as well be called chemical wipes. Chose wipes with fewer potential health concerns and avoid wipes with added “fragrance” or preservatives. Wipes commonly contain formaldehyde, propylene glycol, bronopol, DMDM hydantoin and phthalate-fixed fragrances.

What is wrong with these chemicals?

DMDM hydantioin - An allergen and irritant that forms cancer-causing chemicals
Bronopol - Preservative and allergen that can form cancer-causing chemicals such as nitrosamine
Formaldehyde - Preservative that in high concentrations may trigger an attack in people with asthma and has shown to cause cancer in animals
Proplene glycol - If ingested can cause damage to vital organs and nervous system

We are proud to use cloth diapers and wipes. It is easy, affordable, better for our environment, and most importantly better for babies.

Please make informed decisions about your children, and if you decide to use cloth products we would be happy to answer any of your questions whether you purchase from us or elsewhere.

Have a happy healthy day,


Barnett, Sloan, Green Goes with Everything, pg. 132
Lynda, Fassa, Green Babies, Sage Moms, pg.119
Fields, K. et al (2006), “Contact Dermatitis Caused by Baby Wipes,” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 54(5):230-232
Barnett, Sloan, Green Goes with Everything, pg. 35

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
Franklin, TN, United States
Hello my name is Marie. I have four healthy, beautiful children. When our latest blessing joined our lives in November 2008 we decided to do the best thing for her and our planet. We went the cloth diapering route. During our search for cloth diapers we found limited availability in our area. We knew that we were not the only family facing this dilemma. Together we decided that we were going to help bring the green trend of cloth diapering to Franklin, TN. So here we are! We specialize in American made cloth diapers and baby products. Spreading the love of cloth diaper fluff and American made stuff one baby at a time. won’t you join us in saving our planet and parenting green?