When I tell people we use cloth diapers they are almost always shocked. After they make comments like “you’re so brave” or “I could never cloth diaper”, they ask me why.
For my family our baby’s health was the reason we chose cloth diapering. My husband is a chiropractor and that opened the door to a way of thinking that revolved around health. We were introduced to natural ways of birthing, organic eating, and the multiple chemicals that we live with daily. Some we can alter or lessen, others we have little control over.
When we looked at the chemicals we could eliminate, disposable diapers were a big one. I did quite a bit of research into the chemicals contained in the diapers I was putting on my child. Having this info and choosing to ignore it became very difficult.
I cringe when I think of what sits next to our babies most private parts, just soaking up the toxins. A disposable diaper contains many harmful chemicals that come into direct contact with your baby’s sensitive parts. Some of these chemicals are known potential carcinogens.
The two big toxins in disposable diapers are Dioxin and Sodium Polyacrylate.
Dioxin is an extremely nasty chemical. A 1994, EPA report revealed that there is no safe exposure level for dioxin. That means that any exposure to this dangerous chemical is harmful to your child.
Dioxin is a by-product of the bleaching process that occurs in paper mills. This method is banned in most countries and is known by the EPA as one of the highest cancer causing agents known.
Dioxin is also known to cause:
- liver disease,
- immune system suppression and
- genetic damage in lab animals.
Have you ever looked at those small absorbent crystals in a disposable diaper? Many times they are found on the skin of your precious baby after he or she has fully saturated it. Those crystals are known by the chemical name Sodium Polyacrylate.
It causes many symptoms like:
- coughing and shortness of breath if inhaled;
- nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested;
- redness and pain in the eyes and
- redness, itching and pain on the skin.
Sodium Polyacrylate: (click the link to see a great experiment performed with a menstrual pad!)
· can absorb up to 100X its weight in water. Other resources state 200-300x.
· can stick to baby’s genitals, causing allergic reactions.
· has been reported to cause severe skin irritations, oozing blood from perineum and scrotal tissues, fever, vomiting and staph infections in babies.
· When injected into rats it has caused hemorrhage, cardiovascular failure and death.
· was banned from tampons in 1985 because of its link to Toxic Shock Syndrome.
· has killed children after ingesting as little as 5 grams of it.
· causes female organ problems, slows healing wounds, fatigue and weight loss to the employees in factories that manufacture it.
Many things in this world I cannot protect my children from but this is one that I can. That is truly empowering.
When your life demands that you use disposable diapers for a short time, choosing a natural disposable is both vital and feasible. Health food stores and many chain grocers carry disposable diapers free of dioxin and sodium polyacrylate. Our local HEB carries Natracare. Tushies is also a popular natural disposable diapers.