Thursday, August 6, 2009

Not so green with envy: Confused .... party of 1

Is there anything in this world that is just safe? Uncomplicated and unequivocally safe? Is there anything that doesn't have chemicals, harmful fumes, pesticides or freaking LEAK stuff? Is there something out there that won't give me some sort of cancer when I breath, eat, sleep, get dressed, drive, fly, or exist? Seriously!?

I received my CD (cloth diapers) and I checked the label: Outer lining 100% polyester. Inner lining 80% polyester 20% nylon. I didn't realize that having a non-natural diaper would be a big deal and I almost considered it a good thing. It wasn't a DD (disposable diaper), it was reusable, it was the easiest CD out there, environmentally friendly, soft on baby's bum and economical. They say they are "breathable" and "wick" away moisture so what's the problem? I thought that would make them last longer and that the cotton ones would fall apart faster.

Then my "knows-something-about-everything" husband (I mean that to sound endearing and helpful) starts telling me about all the problems that can come from polyester breaking down over time and it's negative effects. The problem with diapers specifically is we don't know the effects of polyester breaking down over time and it's effects on the developing reproduction system/organs of infants. Polyester is a carcinogen when it breaks down. Carcinogens cause cancer. It is known that breaking down of polyester can release toxic chemicals (from dresses, shirts, etc), but we don't know the effects specifically for reproduction development in infants. While CD and DD both have carcinogens in them, CD can potentially be more harmful because you are putting that carcinogen BACK against tender baby skin time after time for years instead of throwing it away. Here is the part that really chapped my hide (pun intended). If you go with a natural insert like cotton or wool, in most cases it would come with a "waterproof" (or something similar) PUL outer shell. This outer shell is made from polyester (more than likely) and can still be harmful over time.

Also, CD could potentially use 75% MORE energy than DD if they are dried in the dryer and not line dried. If not washed with minimum water (or over washed and rinsed) or at a hotter than recommended temperature they could also use more water to maintain then it takes to make DD. This would also raise your monthly utility and electric bill, a cost you may not have anticipated when purchasing and budgeting for CD.

There may not be anything wrong with the CDs that I have, but Joe would prefer it if I got rid of them. He is totally supportive of me continuing on my quest for natural, cloth diapers. I know as moms we just try to do what's best for our kids and I don't know the answer, but I know that my CD's gotta go. I am exhausted by it at this point because there really doesn't feel like there is a right answer. It all feels like it is either not conducive to our modern lifestyle (cotton diaper and no leak-proof liner .... yuck)or unhealthy for the baby in some way or another and THAT is a helpless feeling. I will say that the diapers I ordered did seem like a really great product in the way they were designed. I have a super squirmy baby when he gets changed and these were easier to get on him than DD even though he had to be snapped in. The snaps are very secure and are all-in-one meaning you don't have to buy different sizes as they grow. I think if you were going to go with a CD based on design this would be the hands down winner.

I hate to admit that in the mean time it is back to Huggies. There is a HUGE arms race between Huggies, Luvs and Pampers for the best selling product and they are all trying to have the best product out there. When one company makes an improvement the other 2 scramble to come up with something better and safer. The CD market is so small that little companies come up with improvements, but don't really have the money to test it and back it up with research. I really really REALLY wanted to convert to CD, but I think for now I have to stick with what works until I find something that I feel is safe. (and something that doesn't give him a raging diaper rash).

I guess I could always try to go diaper less. It's a real thing people .... google it. Just type in "diaper less".

Bottom line (get it? bottom line ... HA!)is I need to get rid of my Smartipants. Anyone interested? I only used 5 of them and I have 21 plus 10 extra liners.

*Smartipants diapers passes all CPSIA requirements. A certificate of compliance with CPSIA testing can be found here on their website. Nothing I said is specific to this particular brand of diapers just diapers made from polyester in general.


Kim said...

You do what you need to do. I am not anti/pro DD but they work. Everything will damage the environment, most everything will cause cancer so make life easy on yourself & don't stress. Life's too short!

Elizabeth Larson said...

What a big pain in the butt! you have gone through so much! Crazy! Good luck with everything, thats just crazy business!

big red 26 said...

Wow what a head ache! I hope you figure it out before I have kids so you can tell me what to use, you have 5-7 years and GO!

Kate said...

freak what a pain kids are...who's idea was it to have them anyway. kim is right, you gotta do what you need to do and what is right for you and only you...and joe. if you don't get any takers on the diapers, i'd try em. i'll buy your used 5 and see if they work and if they do i'll buy the rest for future kids

Jim said...

the boy could just go naked.. that's most likely the safest for the earth..... not so much for the carpet.. but then again.. ..... is Carpet bad???? you might need to go down to the concrete..