Cloth diapers ahoy!

If someone had told me five years ago that I’d be using cloth diapers, I’d have laughed.  Heartily.  I associated cloth with stinky diaper pails, swirling in the toilet, and diaper pins. 

Over the last few years, however, I’ve been trying to cut out some of the nastier chemicals from daily life, and I was shocked by what disposable diapers contain.

The bleaching process used to whiten disposable diapers leaves traces of a substance called dioxin.  Dioxin causes cancer.  Disposables have also been linked to asthma and infertility.  (See here for more info.) 

To capitalize on the growing concern over bleach and its effects, Huggies created Huggies Pure & Natural diapers.  Huggies claims (verbally, not on the packaging) that their diapers are chlorine free.  Instead, to whiten them they use chlorine dioxide.  Chlorine dioxide is so volatile that it is illegal to transport it in any form in the US.  Nice.

I used disposables for both of our boys and didn’t think a thing about it.  Looking back, I remember that I could identify different diaper brands by smell.  It never occurred to me to wonder what exactly I was smelling.  Also, I remember finding gel-like beads on their skin when I would change them.  These were absorbant crystals that had escaped from inside the diaper.  These polymers have been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome and have also been implicated in the recent burns that parents have been seeing from Pampers’ Cruisers and Swaddlers.

There are obvious environmental benefits to using cloth diapers, but these constitute more of an added bonus for me.  My main reason for using them is for baby girl’s health.

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~ by NinjaPrincess on June 2, 2010.

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