Cloth Diapers and your Baby’s Health: What you Need to Know
ESTIMATED READING TIME: 3 MINUTES
Have you ever considered what disposables are made of? How did they get to be so white? How do they manage to absorb so much?
Disposables are made mostly of soft, fluffy pulp which is produced by chemically treating wood fibers. The pulp undergoes a whitening and softening process when it is exposed to chlorine-based bleaching agents, such as chlorine gas and chlorine dioxide.
Say bye-bye to by-products
These paper making methods produce a multitude of toxic chemical by-products which are released into the environment during manufacturing. During the manufacturing process, substances called organochlorides are produced.
These are dangerous unwanted by-products. They are found in large quantities in wastewater released into the environment, and they remain in minute quantities in the paper fluff itself.
One of the most well known organochlorides is the dioxin group. Dioxin has been called the most toxic substance ever produced and has been associated with birth defects, miscarriage, cancer and genetic damage. No one knows exactly how much exposure to dioxin is required for disease to develop. It is toxic in very small amounts.
See ya, Sodium Polyacrylate
Another chemical that simply should not be in a baby’s diaper is called sodium polyacrylate. This substance is found in the fluff layer of the disposable and turns your baby’s urine into gel. Sodium polyacrylate can absorb 100 times its weight in liquid. It makes for a very absorbent diaper, but has been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome in tampon use. In the past, use of this chemical has been associated with severe diaper rash and bleeding perennial and scrotal tissue, because it pulls fluid so strongly that it excoriates human tissue. No neutral long term study of any kind has been done to assess the affect over time, of contact of this substance with vulnerable genital tissue.