I came across an article earlier this week on Honest.com titled, ‘What’s Inside Disposable Diapers?’, which discusses, as you may have guessed, the contents of your average disposable diaper. They revealed that disposable diaper companies have no obligation to state on their packaging what the ‘ingredients’ of their diapers are. Which to me is quite shocking. Why would you not want to tell your customers what is inside your brand?-Maybe because they are full of all kinds of nasties which may be off putting to your consumers?
After a certain amount of their own research, they found that disposable diapers contain:
- Sodium Polyacrylate (SAP) – which is the gooey gel stuff at the bottom of the diaper which soaks up all the liquids, known to be a skin irritant. This substance is banned in many countries, except the U.S. It is a similar substance used in tampons which was linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – disposable diapers emit these compounds which have a possible link to asthma.
- Fragrances and Lotions – made using phthlates, which have been linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity.
- Toxic Pollutants – which can cause hormonal problems.
- Synthetic Dyes –researchers suggest that exposure to synthetic dyes causes 20% of all diaper rash.
- The Bleaching Process itself produces dioxins, known to be one of the biggest carcinogenics known.
With potential skin irritants, diaper rash, toxic shock syndrome, asthma, reproductive, developmental and hormonal disturbances and carcinogenics, why are we exposing our baby’s butts to all these substances? At the risk of sounding even more ‘crunchy’ than usual, I feel very satisfied with my decision to cloth diaper. Not only do you reduce your baby’s exposure to these chemicals, but you also save money in the process!
Did you know that cloth diapering is about one tenth the cost of disposables?
I decided to go with both Fuzibunz and Charlie Banana cloth diapers. They are the perfect combination of both eco-friendly and ultra cute! I decided to go with the ‘One Size’ rather than the sized variety, as it saves changing sizes as your baby grows. They both come with pockets and removable washable inserts. The Charlie Bananas also come with the option of using a disposable insert for those times when washing poopy diapers isn’t always possible, or for example, when traveling.
Obviously, cloth diapering is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, which is why I also love Honest diapers. If you are going to use disposable diapers, I would recommend using ones like this! The Honest Company have developed a range of safe, eco-friendly disposable diapers. They have created them using plant-based materials, making them naturally biodegradable. They state they do not contain: chlorine, perfumes, phthlates, lotions, optical brighteners, PVC, heavy metals or oganotins (MBT, DBT, TBT).
“We believe our babies (and planet) deserve much better diapers”
What will you choose?
Although we may not think of skin as an organ, it is actually the largest organ in the body, yet we often neglect it. The skin is a gateway to the rest of our body, and plays an important role in protection. It is our first line of defense when it comes to extremes of temperature, damaging sunlight and harmful chemicals. Many of us think carefully about the food we put in our bodies, or the food we feed our children. But are we really thinking so clearly about the products we put on our skin? Many of the chemicals in our body care products are absorbed through the skin directly in to our bloodstream within minutes. What worries me the most, are the products we use on our babies. Babies are not just ‘mini adults’, their skin is 30% thinner than adults, making them more vulnerable to harmful chemicals. Their immature organ systems make them less capable of fending off chemical damage that could lead to damage later on in life. The blood-brain barrier that helps to block chemicals from penetrating the brain tissue is also not fully formed until 6 months of age, meaning we have to be extremely cautious when it comes to selecting baby products.
Parents are constantly concerned with getting the best products in the market and doing everything right so that their child is safe. But as we are perusing the baby aisle at our local supermarket, how do we determine which products are the best, and which ones are simply claiming to be the best?
Research carried out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that children are exposed to an average 61 different chemicals every day from the most popular baby products, many of which have not been found safe for children. The EWG found that 77% of ingredients in 1700 children products have not been assessed for safety. According to the FDA, companies can use marketing terms such as ‘natural’, ‘safe’, and ‘gentle’, to ‘mean anything or nothing at all’ (FDA 2000).
Many children’s products contain potentially hazardous ingredients that contradict label claims.
- 2009 Sunscreen Guide by Environmental Working Group (fitsugar.com)
Do you need a wake up call? How safe is your world?
Healthy Child Healthy World – Creating a cleaner, greener, safer home
National nonprofit igniting a movement that inspires parents to protect children from harmful chemicals
Follow the Healthy Child, Healthy World 5 Easy Steps…
1.) Avoid pesticides
2.) Use non-toxic products
3.) Clean up indoor air
4.) Eat healthy
5.) Be wise with plastics
We all know, even though we would like to, sometimes we can’t always buy 100% organic. Either our purse-strings can’t stretch that far, or organic foods are not readily available. But, do not fear, you can still dramatically reduce exposure to toxins and chemicals by following these simple guidelines. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), whose mission is to ‘use the power of public information and knowledge to protect the public… and those most vulnerable’, have come up with a ‘Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides’. They have compiled a list of 49 fruits and vegetables and ranked them based on their pesticide level. The analysis found customers could cut their pesticide exposure by nearly 80% by simply avoiding the fruits and vegetables found to be highest in pesticides the ‘Dirty Dozen’, and instead, choosing items from the ‘Clean 15’ list. The guide helps consumers make informed choices to lower their dietary pesticide load. The top ten worst fruits and veg, or the ‘Dirty Dozen’ i.e. loaded with pesticides are: celery (the worst), peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, sweet bell peppers, spinach, kale, cherries, potatoes and imported grapes. Those with the lowest level of pesticides are: onions (the best), avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, mangoes, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe melon, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potato and honeydew melon.
- A Pesticide Produce Guide For Your Pocket (fitsugar.com)