Over the years it has come to light that there are toxins in disposables that come into contact with a baby's skin. One of these, dioxin, causes cancer, birth defects, skin diseases, enzyme induction, changes in endocrine regulation and decreases vitamin storage. Exposure to dioxin is so great that everyone has absorbed at least trace amounts of it. No safe dose of dioxin has been identified in laboratory tests.
Perhaps the greatest environmental exposure to dioxin comes from the paper industry, which produces the chemical as an unwanted by-product in the chlorine bleaching of wood-pulp. Wood pulp forms the basis of hundreds of paper products, including many widely used by mothers and children, such as tampons and single-use diapers.
Considering the poisonous consequences of dioxin exposure, one may wonder why products like single-use diapers and tampons are allowed to be sold to the public. A second question also arises: what does exposure to these products mean for women & children?
These articles address the concerns regarding single-use diapers for babies and the environment.
Cloth diapering is an alternative for those who wish to avoid the possible health risks with disposables or are interested in going 'green'. Cloth diapers in every way cost less - on the environment, to our pocket, financially, to babies' health & on water & sewage.
In the Vancouver area there is a cloth diaper service available. As well, some stores sell cloth diapers and covers for those who want to use their own.
'New and Green' offer diapering workshops in Vancouver. See here: http://www.newandgreen.com/
A third choice that is also gaining popularity is the Elimination Communication (EC) approach. Diapers are used (either cloth or single-use) with the attention paid to reading a baby's cues to then respond to their need to eliminate. In this way, less diapers are used.
See this link for further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elimination_communication
When we realize how over the course of a single child's use of diapers about 5,000 will be discarded, it's worth considering an alternative to disposables.