Why use cloth?
Having cloth diapers at home is so practical! No running out to buy diapers at the last minute – no having to spend money every week to buy something that you are going to throw out!
Cotton is kinder and more comfortable to baby's skin than paper or stiff plastic and contains no irritating perfumes or chemicals. The interior of single use disposable diapers do not breathe well and therefore can be at a much higher temperature. Parents tend to change single use disposable diapers less often than cloth diapers increasing the risk of diaper rash as heat and moisture provide an excellent medium for bacterial growth.
What should be of serious concern to all parents are the toxic chemicals present in disposable diapers.
Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals.
Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.
Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria.
Disposable diapers frequently contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These include chemicals such as ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system as well as cancers.
Other Chemicals often used in disposable diapers include dyes, fragrances, plastics and petrolatums. Adhesive chemicals are used in the sticky tabs to close the diapers and dyes are used to color and make the patterns and labels that mark diapers. Perfumes and fragrances are used in some disposable diapers to help mask odors.
In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis.
Over 4 million disposable diapers are discarded in Canada per day( 1.6 billion per year)
• It takes a disposable diaper 500 years to decompose (contained in a plastic garbage bag and buried in a landfill).
• It takes a cotton diaper about 6 months to decompose.
Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.
Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp.
The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth.
Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.
Not using cloth diapers? You can expect to spend anywhere from $2500-3000 in Canada on single-use diapers from beginning to end. A great cloth diaper system for the same 2 1/2 years of diapering can cost as little as $300! Phenomenal savings - even when you factor in an extra 2-3 loads of laundry per week. And if you are able to use that system for 2 babies
Cloth Diapers Are Cheaper Than Disposable Diapers...
Babies tend to potty train sooner in cloth diaper