Most people underestimate the ability of the skin to absorb all with which it comes in contact. There is a reason pharmacologists created a birth control patch that adheres to your skin and releases chemicals that alter the hormonal functions of your internal system: Your skin is like a sponge. Consider what you will be putting against your baby’s vulnerable skin for the next 2 – 3 years, 24 hours a day.
With the exception of the pricy natural disposables with extremely limited availability (we only know of the Tushies brand at this time), disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate which absorbs liquid and turns it into gel. Many parents who use disposable diapers will recognize the polymer as the shiny gel-like crystals that often make their way onto your baby’s bum. It was banned from use in tampons in 1985 after it was linked to toxic shock syndrome*. Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) – a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.** Cloth diapers are inexpensive and gel free! In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis.***
In addition, the dangerous chemical dioxin is reported by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals, and is a byproduct of the paper bleaching that is used in most disposable diapers. Whitening through the use of dioxin has been banned in most countries…but not in the U.S.****
With the toxic chemical exposure of disposable diapers, it is no shock that a study by a major disposable diaper manufacturer shows that the incidence of diaper rash rose from 7.1% to 61% between 1970 & 1995, coinciding with the increase in disposable diaper use.
Have you ever read the following warning on a package of disposable diapers? IMPORTANT: When disposing of soiled diaper, empty contents into toilet. I did not realize myself that disposable diapers should be emptied into the toilet before being discarded…but as inconvenient as it may seem it does makes sense. The diapers end up at the landfill, containing viruses from human feces (including live vaccines from routine childhood immunizations) that can leak into the Earth and pollute underground water supplies. In addition to the potential of groundwater contamination, air-borne viruses carried by flies and other insects contribute to an unhealthy and unsanitary situation. One way or another, the waste caught by cloth diapers is likely to enter our sewer systems and is properly treated before re-entering our water.
The solution saturating most disposable wipes can be very harsh and contain questionable chemicals that we don’t often recognize. In contrast, reusable cloth wipes can be used and laundered alongside cloth diapers and are a great alternative to disposable wipes. Cloth wipes allow the flexibility for you to use plain water to cleanse your baby’s bum or for you to mix up your own chemical-free brew or use a premade solution whose ingredients you trust.
I did not write this, you can find the rest of this article here, I just wanted to share these largely unknown health risks.