Chemicals in Nappies
Cloth nappies offer an alternative to reduce exposure to chemicals in a world where they are prevalent.
Modern cloth nappies are no longer considered a thing of the past! Parents are increasingly choosing reusable nappies over disposables to reduce exposure to unwanted chemicals and additives.
Understandably, convenience and ease are often high priorities for parents, so disposable nappies have become the norm. However, creating single-use products requires chemicals, artificial components, and plastics to make them functional and affordable. Some compounds have the potential to be harmful in higher doses and so may have health consequences from long-term exposure.
It should be noted that this information is intended to present facts so that parents can make an informed choice. The fact is that there are chemicals in so many products we use every single day and to live completely chemical-free is no mean feat. Modern cloth nappies offer an alternative to reduce chemical exposure where possible. Not to mention, modern cloth nappies have so many other benefits and are now easier than ever to manage with modern-day lifestyles!
Chemicals in disposable nappies
Chemicals are used in disposables for a variety of reasons including absorbance, wetness indicators, and odour control. Some of these include dioxins, chlorine, bleach, fragrances, dyes, phthalates, super absorbent polymers, adhesives, and volatile organic compounds. Some are designed to activate and cause a chemical reaction once the nappy is soiled. Research has linked some of these with disruptions to the immune and reproductive systems, hormone disruptions, allergic reactions, contact dermatitis, respiratory toxicity, and even cancer.
Impact on babies
Babies are particularly vulnerable to chemicals because their organ systems are immature and rapidly growing and because they have incredibly sensitive skin. Infants wear nappies almost constantly for approximately 2.5-3 years, exposing them to low doses of potentially harmful chemicals.
Impact on the environment
Many chemicals in disposable nappies are not biodegradable. Once they are sent to landfill, chemicals are released into the environment. These chemicals can cause harm to ecosystems and make their way through the food chain to be eventually consumed by humans. Tributyl-tin is commonly found in disposables, is extremely toxic to aquatic life, and is considered a major environmental pollutant.
High-quality modern cloth nappies utilise organic materials such as bamboo and hemp that are naturally absorbent. This reduces exposure to chemicals and protects babies and the environment from potential long-term impacts. Natural materials are biodegradable and break down at a faster rate without releasing toxins into the environment once they reach the end of their life. While most modern cloth nappies come with a synthetic waterproof outer layer for practicality, this is not directly against the skin and does not undergo any chemical reactions. They can also be reused again and again and so are disposed of at a much lower rate!
Modern cloth nappies are now designed to be user-friendly and more convenient to wash while providing parents with an option to reduce infant exposure to chemicals and reduce waste.
Check out our modern cloth nappy range here.