Diaper debate changes course

  • Sarah Jackson
  • Friday, February 1, 2008 12:41pm
  • Life

Usually when I hear new parents talking about the ramifications of choosing between cloth or disposable diapers, it’s all about which is the least damaging to the environment. (Note: It’s still up for debate with cloth diapers holding only a slight edge.)

But last night, my best friend, Karin, a new mother with an 8-month-old son, Joe, told me the buzz in her new-moms group is more about the chemicals associated with mainstream disposables.

Apparently, diapers off-gas just like new cars and paint.

Modern disposable nappies, according to a story from the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition, may contain off-gassing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), including toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and dipentene.

That’s not good.

Most babies are wearing diapers almost constantly, which surely ups the ante when it comes to exposure to most manufacturers’ chemicals.

Other health concerns about diapers include trace amounts of dioxin, a highly carcinogenic byproduct of chlorine bleaching.


What to do?

Karin and a couple other mothers in her moms group have already switched to unbleached Seventh Generation Diapers, which are chlorine free and made with a non-toxic gel.

Karin said the diapers are working almost as well as her Pampers Swaddlers with more frequent changes required and occasional leakage near the legs, especially with boys.

Other chlorine-free options include Tender Care or Tushies diapers.

If you really want to get radical on the diaper debate, you can go diaperless. Read all about it right here.

Do you use cloth or chlorine-free diapers? How well do they work? Write me here to share your experiences.

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