Conventionally, mothers used cloth diapers that were reusable, affordable, and friendlier to the environment. But with the advent of disposable baby diapers in the contemporary age, most parents have adopted their use because of their perceived convenience and ease. However, the consequences are so many and definitely exacted elsewhere and for this reason, this article seeks to shed light on why you as a parent should never use disposable baby diapers.
For one, babies do a lot pooping and that translates to the use of many disposable diapers per day. Consequently, you end up spending a fortune – estimated at $3000 till your baby reaches potty training age. Aside from the financial costs it has, it even costs the baby and the planet more. These are some of the areas that will be discussed in this article, making clear why should stop using disposable baby diapers.
1. Companies producing disposable diapers do not disclose information about the materials used in their production.
It is a requirement for infant care objects manufactures for items like toys, clothes and foods to give complete disclosure of the substances and constituents used during production. However, disposable diapers manufacturers do not do that. The saddening aspect is that infants wear diapers most of the time, up to about two years; meaning the material will be in constant touch with a baby’s bottom area for a very long time.
Despite of this, till date there is no official medical testing done by relevant bodies to determine the long-term consequences of using disposable diapers. Plus, there is no law requiring the companies to give out the list of scents, materials, and ingredients used.
2. Disposable diapers consist of plastics and potential toxins
Even though companies do not reveal the substances used in making diapers, autonomous testing of disposable diapers shows questionable mix of materials and constituents. The surface lining is normally made from polyethylene layer, which is basically plastic cover that is gotten from natural gas or petroleum. The inner layer consists of polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer which is meant to absorb water. It is created from propylene gas.
The middle layer consist of an absorbent center made up of bleached wood pulp, it is created from a combination of softwood fibers and chemicals thus providing immensity and absorbency. Additionally, it also has sodium polyacrylate which is a super absorbent powder capable of holding 30 times its mass per gram while in water. Even though it is categorized as a toxic substance, a disposable diaper contains up to 5 grams.
Another substance used is synthetic dyes for coloring, making images as well as a dampness indicator. A lot of diapers are prepared using dyes such as Disperse Blue 106 and Disperse Yellow 3 that come with a tendency of causing rashes and a raised reaction to allergens. To make matters worse, disposable diapers produce emissions that an infant can inhale.
Research conducted in 1999 to determine the effects of repeated exposure on respiration by using lab rats revealed trichloroethylene and toluene chemical emissions. Constant exposure to such chemicals is lethal to the infant’s respiratory tract and may lead to conditions like asthma.
3. Disposable Diapers produce a lot of waste
It is no surprise that disposable diapers get to be used on a daily basis and numerous times during the day, for at least two years for every infant. As a consequence, this creates a lot of landfill waste. Studies conducted in 2013 show that the number of disposable diapers thrown away amounted to 3.6 million tons that year alone, which equals about 20 billion disposables.
Besides, disposable diapers are garbage since they cannot be reused or composted. Experts also do not have a clue on how long they can take to decompose because such diapers have not been around for a long period of time for people to trail the process. Nonetheless, it has been estimated that disposable diapers can take between 200 and 500 years to decompose.
4. Disposable Diapers’ chemicals leak into the environment.
The buildup of billions of disposable diapers in landfills as of now are seeping into the soil and water and leaking deadly chemicals – those used during their production. On top of people’s health concern, dioxins present in the diapers are also persistent organic pollutants (POPs). They can amass in a person’s body or cause unpleasant effects on ecosystems and terrestrial organisms.
This is because POPs resist decomposing hence stay in food substances, water, soil and air forever. An added horrible chemical identified in the external lining and the adhesive tape in a number of disposable diapers brands is trubutyltin. It is an endocrine disruptor which is exceedingly dangerous to aquatic organisms. It also takes time to decompose, persisting in the environment for about thirty years.
Whilst the mentioned above are two of the numerous synthetic substances with the ability of affecting the health of the world in general, diapers are equally filled with poop. Poop is a biowaste with the capability of transmitting pathogens. Dispatching poop through the toilet is meant to treat and enhances the process of removing contaminants before releasing the faeces into the environment. However, poop in diapers stay untreated. Accumulation of untreated human waste to the already build up of waste only add up to the danger of viral and bacterial organisms leaking into the ground water.
5. Disposable Diapers drain the earth’s resources
The continuous production of disposable diapers causes a huge major drain on the universe’s reserves while dirtying the environment with poop. The wood pulp used in making disposable diapers can be equaled to the Earth’s resources while propping up dirty industries. The wood pulp used in diapers is equal to the loss of about 250,000 trees annually.
The plastics that are also used in making diapers are taken from petroleum which is a fossil fuel that cannot be renewed. The absorbent sodium polycrylate crystals get obtained from crude oil. Starting from obtaining the raw materials, manufacturing plastics, producing the product and transit services, disposable diapers prove to be a big user of Earth’s resources and energy that result in elevated levels of carbon footprint.
6. They are expensive
Newborns normally require diaper changing more than older kids do. Nonetheless, children tend to use an average of 7 to 8 diapers on a daily basis before they get to learn on how to use a toilet. The number of times used, therefore, make diapers really pricey. Furthermore, the cost of purchasing diapers differ depending on the brand. This causes bewilderment and worry among parents since they have to choose the right brand at the rates that they can afford. Many parents claim that they use lots of money purchasing diapers.
7. Causes rashes
Prevalent diaper rash is a comparatively up-to-the-minute observable fact that cropped up owing to the increased use of disposable diapers. Although diaper rashes can happen because of a lot of reasons such as food and allergies, most of the rashes are normally as a result of diapers and wipes, lack of air circulation, and high temperatures owed to the plastic which hold onto body heat together with the delayed changes as no wetness is felt when in actuality they are wet.
Particular dyes that are used in adding color to the diapers have similarly been proven to cause allergic tendencies that result in rashes. Continuous contact with the dyes may give rise to chronic allergies.
8. They are capable of causing cancer and infertility
Studies conducted regarding diseases in childhood show that there is an increase in scrotal temperatures in boys while wearing disposable diapers. The outcome of prolonged usage of diapers may dull or even totally bring to an end the psychological testicular cooling systems that are essential for regular spermatogenesis – a potential basis for later life infertility or growth of cancer cells.
9. Toilet training can be harder
Toilet training usually involves certain sounds, cues and signals between parents and baby so that their child can learn to use the toilet for urination and defecation. But in recent times, the use of disposable diapers have increased the period of a child in diapers as it makes the baby feel quite comfortable which makes moms and dads not to push them for the potty training. Thus, the potty training lesson which was generally started earlier in past may get lost in modern times due to the use of the modern day ultra-absorbing diapers.
10. Urinary Infections
When using the conventional cotton cloth diapers, one is required to change the diaper every time it gets wet. However, disposable diapers can at times take a long periods minus being changed thus augmenting the risks of having a child suffer from urinary infections. Baby girls are more vulnerable to these infections because of their anatomical uniqueness.
11. Suppresses immunity
There are proponents that certain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in diapers can change the immunity of children. Having a poor immune system will cause regular infections and inflammations.