Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What do Disney & Dioxin have in common?

Did you know that 60% of what you put on your baby's skin is absorbed into his bloodstream within minutes?
Me neither. And yet I put lotions, oils, baby wipes, diapers & clothes on Hudson daily. I started to wonder each time I wanted to lather him up in his lavender scented baby lotion, what was I really putting into his chubby little body?

I needed to know. I decided to start by understanding the one thing he always has on. Diapers.Well, most of the time since he is an avid nudist. What exactly were in his puffy little white diapers other than the cute little Mickey Mouse on the front? 
According to Live Strong, the chemicals that are found in diapers range from polyethylene and polypropylene plastic with bleached paper pulp, AGM (a gelling substance), petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, cellulose tissue, elastic, and perfume.

OK, so what does all that all mean?

Most disposable diapers are bleached white with chlorine, resulting in a byproduct called dioxins. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals known to science and are listed by the EPA as highly carcinogenic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions. (From Live Strong.com)

I really am still not understanding all of this.....diapers are for little tiny babies that we keep indoors for months after they are born so they don't get sick & rush to rinse of their pacifers each time it falls on the carpet. Why would their be a chemical as insane as Dioxin in this fragile little person's diaper? 60% of which is going to be absorbed into their blood stream. Surely diaper companies are not doing this. There is an entire government out there that protects & controls them, right? And what about ethics & mom's? I can't be the only one with these questions.
I went over to the Huggies website to prove this ridiculous notion was all just some eco-conspiracy. I looked for the ingredieants of the diapers, an explanation, something to understand all this. When I clicked on the regular diaper that I would normally not think twice off buying, this is what the description read;
  • Unlike other brands, HUGGIES® Snug & Dry Diapers have a SnugFit* waistband and unique tabs for a secure fit  
  • A unique layer to lock wetness away and help keep your baby dry  
  • Adorable graphics featuring Mickey & Friends Disney designs  
Disney Friends? Secure Fit? How about cancer??? Dioxin??? HELLO!!! Who gives a (insert a not so good word here) about Disney characters or a waistband? I was missing something, I had to keep looking. And then I found it.

This is the answer to all those crazy mom questions about chemicals, cancers & dioxin.  
A Caribbean Island vacation. 
This is what I need. Are you kidding me? They don't list the ingredients of their products but promote some ridiculous island vacation?  What is the big secret? What are they trying to hide?

According to this article written by T. Washko at Diaper Jungle, even if you need to know what is in the diapers due to a health concern for you baby you still have to fight to know. He writes,

"Even when contacting them to determine if your child might have sensitivities to the "ingredients" in their diapering products, you will not get any closer to the truth. Instead, they tell you that this information is proprietary due to the prevalence of diapering spies out there and that if you want further information about the contents you must submit a letter from your doctor explaining what allergies or product sensitivities your child might have and they will either confirm or deny. The extent of the security that exists around the contents of a diapering product is not only baffling but alarming".
I need my doctor to send a note to figure out what is in the diapers that I am buying? Seriously? What are they hiding?  This is the letter thatT. Washko wrote as if the diaper company had to really respond to the consumers.

Dear Customer,

Our diapers are made from a variety of non-child friendly products including bleached paper pulp, petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, cellulose tissue, sodium polyacralate, and perfumes. Some or all of these ingredients may cause adverse reactions to the wearer, including reduced respiratory function, so please exercise appropriate caution when using our product.

Our products are not biodegradable or environmentally friendly and they may contribute greatly to environmental pollution. Although recycling disposable diapers is a possibility, we do not, at this time, use any of these available methods as the monetary costs are too great. Thank you kindly for using our products anyway.

A Large Disposable Diaper Company

Chemicals are in lots of things and nobody ever really gets hurt. SURE. Come to find out, lots of people get hurt. So much so that Sodium Polyacrylate (the gel in diapers) was removed from tampons becuase too many women experienced toxic shock syndrome. If a baby happens to ingest Sodium Polyacrylate, they could die. Death in humans have occured when just 5 grams were swallowed. Parents & others have reported the following problems with diapers to the Consumer Protection Agency;
  • Chemical Burns
  • Noxious Odors
  • Babies pulling diapers apart & putting pieces in their nose & mouth
  • Choking
  • Plastic melting onto skin
  • Skin ink staining                                                                                Courtesy of The Birth Source.
OK so maybe these are in extreme cases. I can see that. But if there were 5 ways to drive to the store & one of those ways had the possibility of totalling my car & killing my family, then I would simply avoid that option. That's how I feel about diapers now. Maybe it wont burn Hudson's skin or give him cancer, but what if it could or does? Why would I even risk it? For convenience. Yeah, that's a good answer.

Sorry Hudson, you can't play soccer cause you have to get chemo. Mommy was super busy when you were a baby & even though I knew cancer was an option, I decided to play the odds. 

His 5 year old response would & should be. You suck mom. 

Now onto finding out about cloth diapers.



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