CLOTH VS. DISPOSABLE DIAPERS
Dyes found in some disposables are known to damage the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) received reports that fragrances caused headaches, dizziness, and rashes. Problems reported to the Consumer Protection Agency include chemical burns, noxious chemical and insecticide odors, reports of babies pulling disposables apart and putting pieces of plastic into their noses and mouth, choking on tab papers and linings, plastic melting onto the skin, and ink staining the skin. Plastic tabs can also tear skin, and disposables may contain wood splinters.
In 1987, the Sunday Democrat and Chronicle published news about the new Pampers Ultra. The new gel they used caused severe skin irritations, oozing blood from perineum and scrotal tissues, fever, vomiting, and staph infections in babies. Employees in Pampers factories suffered from tiredness, female organ problems, slow-healing wounds and weight loss. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54% of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes, 16% had severe rashes. A survey of Procter & Gamble's own studies show that the incidence of diaper rash increases from 7.1 percent to 61 percent with the increased use of throwaway diapers, great for manufacturers of diaper rash medicines. Widespread diaper rash is a fairly new phenomenon that surfaced along with disposable diapers. Reasons for more rashes include allergies to chemicals, lack of air, higher temperatures because plastic retains body heat, and babies are probably changed less often because they feel dry when wet.
Disposables and Public Health & Landfill Concerns
About 5 million tons of untreated body excrement, which may carry over 100 intestinal viruses, is brought to landfills via disposables. This may contribute to groundwater contamination and attract insects that carry and transmit diseases. In 1990, 18 billion disposables were thrown into United States landfills. Is it wise to use 3.4 billion gallons of oil and over 250,000 trees a year to manufacture disposables that end up in our already overburdened landfills? These disposables are not readily biodegradable. The paper must be exposed to air and sun to decompose. Thirty percent of a disposable diaper is plastic and is not compostable. Even if the rest of the diaper could be composted, these plants could only handle 400 of the 10,000 tons of diapers tossed in landfills EACH DAY, assuming they didn't have to process any other compostable garbage. Biodegradable diapers have cornstarch added to the plastic to break it into tiny pieces. The pieces still end up in landfills.
Inaccurate and Misleading Information from Disposables Manufacturers
It's the late 1980's, people are becoming concerned about the environment. Disposables are on the decline. The disposables manufacturers fight back. Articles and advertisements say disposables are OK. Many mothers, glad to hear that and relieved of guilt, switch to disposables. Disposables manufacturers say energy usage is the same for cloth or disposables, but the fact is that throwaways use five times more energy than reusables.
Cloth Diapers Are Easy, Simple, Inexpensive
Diapers do not need to be presoaked, I don't even rinse mine. Just dump solids in toilet, if it does not fall out then put in hamper, the washing machine will do the rest. No pins are necessary. Two loads of laundry a week.
You have a lot of options available through several mail order companies. There are diaper and cover combinations or All-in-one diapers which are as easy as disposables. The representatives at these companies can assist in your choice. The total cost runs from $200-$300 to get started but will take you through the first year or so.
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