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5 Harmful Effects of Disposable Diapers and Training Pants

Because Super Skivvies is an eco-friendly and sustainable company we feel that it is necessary to help people make an educated decision when it comes to choosing which products to use for their children. This is for the benefit of you and your child, as well as the environment.

(Super Skivvies Convertible Cloth Potty Training Pants – click photo to visit shop)

It still amazes us how many people out there give no thought or regard to how the products they use are destroying the very Earth that we all call home, even after being educated and shown the truth about harmful products. Unfortunately, a lot of people want to sweep these problems under the rug and forget about them. However, I think we can all agree that we need Earth in order to survive and give future generations the basic necessities of clean air, clean water, and healthy food. Simple right?

Take a look at some of the information we found about disposable diapers and training pants:

  • 18 billion disposable diapers end up in landfills every year in the U.S. alone, adding 5 million tons of untreated human waste to the soil. And did you know that it is illegal to put human fecal matter in your household garbage? The American Public Health Association and American Academy of Pediatrics have advised parents that “fecal material and urine should not be allowed to be co-mingled and disposed of as regular trash. This contaminates ground water and spreads disease.” Yes, you must remove all of the fecal matter from disposables before you throw them out. (Click here for information on disposing of disposable diapers)
  • Sodium polyacrylate is a chemical that makes disposable diapers so absorbent that it can absorb up to 100 times its weight in water. However, it can stick to children’s genitals and cause allergic reactions. In the U.S., this chemical was removed from tampons in 1985 when it was linked to toxic shock syndrome. And when this chemical was tested and injected into rats, it caused hemorrhaging, cardiovascular failure, and ultimately death.
  • 500 years! This is how long it can take each disposable diaper and training pant to decompose in a landfill. That means that every disposable diaper and training pant ever used in the world is still decomposing in a landfill somewhere. And almost 30 percent of each disposable diaper and training pant consists of non biodegradable products such as absorbent vinyl layers, Velcro, absorbent gelling material, and plastic packaging that will never break down.
  • Dioxin is a by product of the paper bleaching process used in the manufacturing of disposable diapers and training pants. It is the most toxic of all the cancer causing chemicals and causes birth defects as well as liver disease in laboratory animals.
  • As many as 100 viruses can survive in soiled disposable diapers or training pants for months. This includes the live polio virus and hepatitis excreted by recently vaccinated babies. These viruses constitute a potential hazard to sanitation workers and garbage handlers. No to mention the critters that will crawl into the landfill to find a meal and the birds that will pick through this garbage and fly to who knows where.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list of harmful effects. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

(Wild Coconut Wear Wool Cloth Diaper Cover – click photo to visit shop)

Steph & Anthony of Super Skivvies

3 thoughts on “5 Harmful Effects of Disposable Diapers and Training Pants

  1. whoa…{{{no, no, no to disposables}}} no matter how easy they seem. The price is too big to pay. The Iroquois Indians 7th Generation always comes to mind when I see disposables. Thanks for putting this info out there. And another good thing to add, is it says on the box of diapers that its a federal offense to dispose of a poopy diaper without rinsing it out in the toilet first. How many people really do this I wonder? Probably not many. And knowing most people, generally speaking, they don’t read boxes anyway. My point is if you have to go that far to clean disposables, what’s the difference in cloth diapering?

  2. Wow, not exactly what I want to be putting next to my baby’s very delicate bottom! And like Kate said, what’s the difference if you have to clean both? Oh, right, the difference is if you’re using cloth you still have a resuable diaper, if you’re using disposable you just had to clean and *still* have to go buy more. Doesn’t really add up, does it? Thanks for such an informative article, Steph!

  3. I am all for cloth diapers and cloth training pants and that’s all we’ve used since coming home from the hospital… but I also did a quick google search (b/c I had heard tampons have dioxins too) and found this scientific article that was published:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240689/

    looks like it really isn’t a concern with cloth diapers but there are still plenty of reasons to use cloth vs disposables. Just wanted to say you can’t always believe what you hear/read and you should do some research and make your own decision!

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