7 Harmful Chemicals In Baby Diapers – Compounds – Cautions

after being recognized world wide since in the late 1960s and early 1970 until now, life seems hard without baby diapers for good reason. Although throwing away nappies may raise environmental issue, this is a major covenience for parents. But this is not main case, the fact of chemical materials, which might be harmful, of what they have made of bring into concern.

Obviously, many materials inside diapers worry parents as it spends in so many hours in direct contact upon baby’s sensitive areas. Therefore, the safety of disposable diapers arose in the early 2010 when the world noticed the developed severe rashes and other health effect from harmful chemical inside diapers.

Thus, we’ll discuss some materials inside baby’s  diapers that could harm the baby

What Is In Baby Diapers?

Many diaper companies do not mention list of materials that they use in their product, therefore this makes customer wonder what are they made of and is there any chance that those material may harm the baby?

Well, let’s find out. Some brands such as Pampers, Hugies, and other brands follow the same basic model of diaper’s construction.

The outer line of diaper is made of polyethylene film which is known as the material of plastic wrap. While the inner line of diaper, which directly touches baby’s skin, is made from polypropylene. It is usually used in any thermal underwear. So far, those two materials are considered safe for young skin such baby’s skin.

Furthermore, the absorbent center is made form wood pulp and super-absorbent polymers, such as sodium polyacrylate. This material will make diaper thinner and absorb well to keep the baby’s skin dry. Normally, it can absorb up to 30 times its urine weight. The good effects of this dry surface, the babies will away from diaper rash problems which arise from frictions, moisture, urine and feces.

When we see closely, we will see some fancy images in the outer part of diapers, most of them are cartoon characters. Those images are dyes, such as Disperse Blue 106, Disperse Blue 124, Disperse Yellow 3, and Disperse Orange 3. And also the nice fume from diapers contains small amount of perfume in between the absorbent area and outer layes. Commonly the parfume contain a citrusy smelling compound.

Are Those Chemicals Safe?

Let’s find out the harmful chemicals in diapers below!

  1. Sodium Polyacrylate

Sodium Polyacrylate is well known as the waterlock with chemical formula [−CH2−CH(CO2Na)−]n, this chemical can absorb up to 200 to 300 times its mass in the water. This is composed from cellulose processed from trees then mixed up with polyacrylate crystals. Thus, this material forms small gel-like crystals. This material can strongly absorb any fluid and keep the surface dry, plus prevent them from leakage.

Sodium Polycrylate in diapers is considered mild stuff and quite safe as it is nontoxic, however, inhaling even small particle of it may irritate the airways. This chemical does not irritate the skin, but sometimes it mixed up with small amounts of acrylic acid from a manufacturing process’s leftover. According to study report from Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, the acrylic acid contain in diapers might not raise concern.

Other than diapers, sodium polyacrylate has a wide variety of undustrial use such as coatings, detergent products of any kind, refreezable gel packs, personal lubricants, and other uses.

Moreover, a study report from Journal of Clinics in Dermatology mentioned that there is a possible allergic reaction from sodium polyacrylate. The study shown that the adult users could get a shock syndrome in using a pad contained sodium polyacrylate. This showed a potential fatal disease which is caused by bacterial infections. From this experiment, this shock syndrime might also happen in baby’s skin too.

  1. Dyes

Because the Dyes used in diapers are generally safe, there is a rare cases from it. However, Disperse Blue 106, Disperse Blue 124, Disperse Yellow 3, and Disperse Orange 3 might cause allergic reaction for babies. Dyes can be found to create cute cartoon images in the outer part of the diapers, sometimes as well as found in the wetness indicators in the diaper and also in around legs area.

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  1. Perfumes

The perfumes used in diapers are considered safe, parents still have to look closely that some babies might sensitives to perfumes in their diapers, although the allergic reactions seem uncommon. This is supported with the report in 2009 from the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health that the amout of citral or other scent in baby diaper should be a million times too low to cause any trouble.

  1. Dioxins

Dioxin or also called as p-dioxin or 1,4-Dioxin which has chemical formula as C4H4O2. It is commonly known as polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs).

This is a chemical material from wood pulp which gives strong absorbent and extra cushioning in baby diapers. Just like other mentioned chemicals which considered as safe, however dioxins still can rise some potential harmful chemicals which cause cancer and other long-term health problem (from World Health Organization in 2010).

Furthermore, A study from Archives of Environmental Health in 1999 mentions that disposable diapers could be considered as a factor of childhood asthma, other respiratory problems, prone to rashes on baby’s skin and other allergic reactions. And further health problem can lead baby to cause altered liver function, impairments to the immune system, endocrine system, reproductive organ function and nervous system,

But what makes parents get more worrisome is that dioxins are found everywhere from environment until food. Thus, kids could get dioxins in their body from diapers and their diets. There are still many more harmful chemicals in diapers.

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  1. Tributyl-tin (TBT)

The general formula for this chemical compound is C4H9)3Sn-X. The X is an electronegative such as chloride and hydroxide. This compound is commonly known as bottom paint, which can be applied to the bottom of the ship to improve performance and durability as it reduces bio fouling, the organisms on the ships’ hull. But, the application of this kind of paint harasses marine environment as it is toxic for mrine organism.

Unfortunately, some brands of baby diapers might contain tributyl-tin or TBT for short. This ingredient is a toxic pollutant which is extremely harmful upon marine or aquatic life (Water) and also can cause endocrine or hormonal problem in aquatic problem. Hence we can say that TBT can strongly damage water environment. Moreover, this chemical compound does not degrade and remains in the environment which lead to our food chain. According to research conducted by American Institute of Biological Sciences, this can grow genes that promote the growth of fat cells in humans.

  1. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds have a high vapor pressure in the room temperature. the high vapor comes from a low boiling point which produces numbers of molecules to evaporate. VOCs are varied and ubiquitous, most odors are VOCs.

This compound includes ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene, which can cause harm. According to EPA, this chemical material can cause severe eye, nose and throat irritation, damage to liver and kidney, headaches central nervous systoms and a trigger causse of cancer in humans.

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  1. Other harmful chemicals

Other harmful chemicals contained in baby diapers are plastics, petrolatums or petrolium, adhesive chemicals. Adhesive chemical is used for sticky tab to close it.the plastics and petrolatums or petrolium can be found in the outer and inner edges of the diapers to prevent leakage and prevent less skin irritations.

Cautions of Diaper Uses

although, the diapers are considered quite safe as all harmful chemicals mentioned above are used in small amount to, parents still should consider these points to choose safer diaper

  1. To choose safer diaper of any brands which does not contains scent and dye, look the material details closely in the package. The chlorine may leave number of harmful chemical such as dioxin, moreover, some babies may have allergic to dye and fragrance material. Therefore choosing a diaper labeled dye-free, perfume-free, chlorine-free is the best move to buy safer diaper product.
  2. To choose more eco-health and friendly diaper of any brand, get a flushable hybrid diaper. The liner of this diaper is soiled and flushed down into sewage system rather than sending it to the landfill. Parents can insert a new liner of this dipaer onto their baby’s cloth pants. Furthermore, parents can choose diaper brands which use minimal packaging and biodegradable material.
  3. To choose chlorine free diapers, which contains low dioxin, parents can choose organic cotton diapers. The cotton used no pesticides during growing, hence it is safer for baby’s skin.
  4. More recommendation is to choose a diaper which is labeled as super absorbent polymer as it can keep the baby’s skin drier. This will give comfort and avoid rash and skin irritations for babies.

Despite those harmful effects from using baby diapers, the good news from it is the diaper could prevent diaper rash as the material inside diaper can keep the skin drier, this minimizes the spread of infection such as diarrhea.

As a result, protect your baby with your love. Don’t let them experience the effects of harmful chemicals in diapers.