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Health Benefits

Logically, using cloth diapers on your children is a better choice than using disposable diapers. The products used to make cloth diapers are much more natural and we are aware of the products that go into making them. Who wouldn't want soft fleece, cotton or microfiber against their babies skin? Today cloth diapers are even available in natural materials such as hemp, organic cotton and wool!

Ever since disposable diapers were introduced, diaper rash has risen amongst newborns and babies. You rarely hear of a child in cloth diapers who has a diaper rash. "Reasons for more rashes include allergies to chemicals, lack of air, higher temperatures because plastic retains body heat, and babies are probably changed less often because they feel dry when wet." ("Diapers, Disposable or Cotton?" at EcoBaby).

Most doctors and pediatricians recommend that a diaper be changed about every 2 hours. However, a disposable diaper will keep a child feeling drier much longer and therefore go without a change. Think about all the urine and ammonia that you are leaving next to your child's skin for such a long period of time! As a woman you should understand the need for a clean diaper and the importance of being dry and fresh. The longer a baby sits in a hot, wet diaper, covered in plastic the more it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and diaper rash!

The following is a list of known chemicals that are used in Disposable Diapers:

SODIUM POLYACRYLATE - This is the chemical, added in powder form to the inner pad of a disposable that makes it super-absorbent. When the powdered form becomes wet, it turns into a gel.

Properties:
- It can absorb up to 100X its weight in water
- It can stick to baby's genitals, causing allergic reactions
- 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
- 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

DIOXIN - This is the chemical by-product of the paper-bleaching process, using chlorine gas, in the manufacturing of diapers.

Properties:
- It is a carcinogenic ~ cancer-causing chemical
- The EPA lists it as the MOST TOXIC of all cancer-linked chemicals
- In small quantities it causes birth defects, skin/liver disease, immune system suppression & genetic damage in lab animals
- Banned in most countries, but not the United States

TRIBUTYL TIN (TBT) - An environmental pollutant, considered highly toxic, that spreads through the skin and has a hormone-like effect in the smallest concentrations.

Properties:
- It harms the immune system and impairs the hormonal system
- Speculated that it could cause sterility in boys

The above chemical information can be viewed in full context at Diaper Pin - Diaper Drama.
Written by: Heather Sanders, 2002