Prompted by some parents’ complaints that the Pampers Dry Max diapers allegedly give babies severe rashes and even chemical burns, some parents are questioning the ingredients of disposable diapers in general. A common reason parents reject the disposable is due to its chemical ingredients, questionable both in regard to health and in regard to environmental sustainability.
All disposable diapers are made of multiple kinds of plastic, and most parents who’ve used them are familiar with the clear polymer pebbles that stick to their baby’s skin when a diaper is removed. (This happens when the diaper is on too long, but also, sometimes every diaper in the box seems defective and “leaks” its contents immediately when wet). This is sodium polyacrylate, a super-absorbent polymer, and similar to the substance removed form tampons in the 1980s due to its problematic associated with toxic shock syndrome.
Another issue is the presence of dioxin, present in diapers as a by-product of the bleaching process. This toxic carcinogen (cancer-causing) chemical is known to build up in the body over time as well as linger in the environment. The World Health Organization asserts that dioxin is most dangerous to newborns,
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most of whom are diapered in products containing this chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency considers it the most toxic of all carcinogens, and it is banned in most countries outside the U.S. Another toxic substance found in disposables, Tributyltin (TBT), a chemical used to discourage the growth of organisms such as bacteria, is known to cause cell abnormalities, specifically the increase in fat cells, and to disrupt hormones. (For information on this chemical as an “obesogen,” so named for its contribution to obesity, click title to read “Chemical in Some Disposable Diapers Cause of Obesity and Hormone Disruption.”)
Plastic diapers also pose an additional risk for boys, suggests research from the Netherlands. A study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2000, revealed that plastic diapers may be a contributing factor in the decline in male reproductive health.
Published in: Family