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Cloth vs. Disposables

It’s Convenient

Cloth diapering is easier than ever.  We know that you as a parent really don’t want to do any of the rinsing, shaking or scraping and now you don’t have to. We bring the diapers directly to you, relieving you of the need to run to the store for diapers. All you need to do is drop the diaper in the diaper pail liner we provide and leave it out for pickup weekly.

On average, children are potty trained up to 6 months sooner as a result of being able to feel the dampness in their diapers. With this feeling they develop the awareness and desire to graduate from diapering all together. Not only does this also help your wallet, child led potty training is, as you can imagine, much easier than the alternative.

 For Your Baby's Health

Did you know that an estimated 78% of today’s babies and toddlers have diaper rash? Disposable diapers are more likely to give your baby diaper rash. Diaper rash is caused by a baby being left in a disposable diaper for longer than needed, causing ammonia and bacteria buildup. Keep in mind that there are a variety of other reasons your baby can get diaper rash (food allergy, medication reaction, ext.).  Interestingly enough, in the 50’s, prior to the arrival of disposables, that number was estimated to be about 7%. Archives of Disease in Childhood, published research in May of 2000, showing that the scrotal temperature is increased in little boys wearing disposable diapers. Prolonged use of a disposable diaper can blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis. This is also known as infertility.

A single disposable diaper contains up to 60 different chemicals, all kept closest to your baby's most sensitive areas. There are numerous studies that link the chemicals used to produce disposables diapers to an endless list of health issues. Although disposable diapers may appear sanitary and sterilized, they are full of chemicals. Instructions on a disposable diaper package states that all fecal matter should be deposited in the toilet before discarding. Less than one half of one percent of all waste from single-use disposable diapers goes into the sewage system. This causes millions of tons of human waste to be put into our landfills as well as dozens of potential viruses and even more bacteria that can leach into groundwater.

Disposable diapers can easily come apart as well. We all know that when small pieces of a new object are presented to small children the first thing they do in put it in their mouth. Ingesting as little as 5 grams (5 grams is a little more than a spoonful) of sodium polyacrylate can cause death in humans and animals.

 Just a few of the chemicals that are in disposable diapers:

*Dioxin:  Dioxin is used in the paper bleaching process and is listed by the EPA as the most toxic of cancer related chemicals. Disposables contain trace amounts of it. Would you believe dioxin is outlawed in many countries, but not the US? It’s true.

*Sodium Polyacrlate: This is the super absorbent powder added to the center of the diaper that turns to gel as your baby uses the bathroom. It is commonly referred to as SAP (super absorbent polymer). Ladies may know that SAP was banned from tampons due to links to toxic shock syndrome. This chemical can cause skin irritations and severe allergic reactions including vomiting, staph infections, and fever. SAP has also been linked to scrotal bleeding in little boys.

*Tributyl-tin (TBT): This extremely toxic pollutant is used as a fungicide. It spreads through the skin and can, in the smallest of concentrations, affect the endocrine glands, upsetting the hormone levels in the pituitary, gonad and thyroid glands. Large doses of TBT have been shown to damage the reproductive and central nervous systems, bone structure, and the gastrointestinal tract of mammals.

For The Environment

Studies show that it can take an estimated 250 to 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose. That means EVERY disposable diaper ever used is still in a landfill. In just one year, according to the Sustainability Institute, 80% of the diaperings in the US are done with disposables. This comes out to 27.4 BILLION diapers, in the US alone, added to dumps every year.

It takes 3.5 times more energy and 8.3 times more non-renewable materials to produce disposable diapers than cotton diapers. To produce disposables for one child for one year, production will require over 300 lbs. of wood, 50lbs of petroleum feed stocks, 20lbs of chlorine and will generate one ton of garbage. The manufacturing and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth.

*Using cloth is the only sustainable solution to diapering. Minus the fact that there are no chemicals in cloth diapers, they are also soft and comfortable on your baby’s bum. Each cloth diaper will get anywhere from 50-250 uses before they are turned into rags. There are so many varieties of cloth diapers out on the market these days. The cloth diaper industry has made it very easy for families to use cloth diapers. Diaper services make your cloth diapering experience perfect!!*

Sources: Best Foot Forward, RDIA, RDA,,, ETN,,


Have You Ever Wondered What's In A Disposable Diaper?

by: Elizabeth

Growing up in the seventies and eighties, disposable diapers were something that I took for granted. In the late 1940s crude paper disposables first made an appearance and in 1961 a major brand of disposable diapers was launched.  Disposable diapers were originally made of paper pulp with a thin plastic covering.  Over the past 50 years, disposable diapers have changed and evolved into what is currently on the market today.  But what exactly is in these diapers?  I was surprised when I found out.

Have you ever wondered what makes modern disposable diapers so super-absorbent? It’s a chemical compound called Sodium Polyacrylate. This compound binds to liquids and can hold 200 to 300 times its weight, turning from a powdery substance into a gooey gel.  It is also used in some potting soils to help the soil retain water.  If you’ve ever changed a diaper and found small gel balls on your child’s skin, it is most likely the Sodium Polyacrylate crystals.  Have you ever seen a child who has gone swimming in one of these?  It almost look like the child is holding a balloon between his or her legs and the diaper looks ready to burst.  Sodium Polyacrylate crystals were once used in tampons until they were later removed due to their relation to Toxic Shock Syndrome.

The bleaching process also leaves many chemicals behind in the fibers of disposable diapers. Chlorine bleach leaves behind toxins called “dioxins.” Dioxins can cause problems in the endocrine systems (hormones) and are also carcinogens. Dioxins are found in many brands of disposable diapers and prolonged exposure to these dioxins may be related to infertility later in life.  Certain cloth diapers may also contain trace levels of dioxins due to the bleach used to treat the fibers in the cloth, however these dioxins are washed out during the one to two pre-washes suggested before the baby ever wears the diapers.  Babies wearing disposable diapers are exposed to these dioxins up to 24 hours a day.

Disposable diapers also contain chemicals and compounds that act as respiratory irritants that can cause asthma and asthma-like symptoms.
These are toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, styrene and isoproplybenzene.  The rise of asthma rates and the introduction of certain chemicals and scents into diapers appear to be linked.  Cloth diapers do not out-gas any of these chemicals.  What’s more, some diapers also use special dyes that change color to indicate that the diaper is wet and of course, plastics and adhesives are used to make the diaper tabs.

So are disposable diapers unsafe to use? Obviously many families use them and have no immediate problems–or at least none that they would think to link to the diapers they are using.  The most serious health concerns linked to using disposable diapers don’t occur until later in life–such as childhood asthma and male infertility.  As for me, my baby is wearing cloth diapers and I’m glad I don’t need to wonder what sort chemicals they are out-gassing or if he is absorbing carcinogenic dioxins through his tush. I feel good about that.



Toxins In Disposable Diapers: Dioxin and Sodium Polyacrylate

Most parents have heard about the dangers of BPA in infant bottles, and as such, stores usually sell BPA-free options.  However, there are other dangers that parents do not yet know about.

Disposable diapers pose a health risk to children.  We have previously reported on sanitary pads and tampons causing endometriosis through dioxin exposure.  Dioxins are a byproduct of chlorine, which is used during the bleaching process.  Dioxins accumulate in the body throughout the lifetime of the victim, which makes this a particularly important topic.  Dioxin exposure as a child will impede the immune system of the individual forever.  It means that they will never be as strong as they should have been.  Dioxins are responsible for a range of reproductive and developmental problems, damaging the immune system, along with causing major hormonal imbalances and cancer.  Many infants are now exposed to dioxins 24 hours a day, and yet society wonders why girls are beginning puberty younger than ever, and hormonal disorders are becoming increasingly common in children.

Unfortunately, dioxin is not the only issue with disposable diapers.  Sodium Polyacrylate is an absorbent gel that is responsible for absorbing moisture inside the diaper.  It was once present in tampons, but was removed for causing Toxic Shock Syndrome.   Sodium polyacrylate has been implicated as a contributing factor of staph infections.  It is a skin irritant, because it is able to absorb all of the oils and moisture from the skin, yielding a drying effect.  It is no surprise, then, that problems like diaper rash are almost non-existent for babies having cloth diapers.  The effects of topical exposure to sodium polyacrylate have only been minimally studied, so we do not yet know what damage it is doing.  For the interest of our children, it is wise to err on the side of caution.

There are a variety of different dying agents used in diapers, ranging from indicators informing the parent of wetness, to colored patterns for improved appearances.  Infants are showing allergic reactions to these diapers, and parents of these children are typically unable to identify the diapers as the cause.  It is not uncommon for steroid creams to be used to treat these allergic reactions, with neither the doctor nor parent suspecting involvement by chemical dyes.

We strongly recommend that people look into the possibility of using cloth diapers, or at the very least, purchase unbleached, dye-free disposable diapers at a specialty or health food store.  The health of our children is worth the minor inconvenience.

Source:The Health Wyze Report


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