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Is disposable diapers are harmful?

Is disposal diapers are harmful? What are the chemicals present in the disposal diapers?

Imagining the world without diapers is practically impossible. These diapers have become an unavoidable part of our daily life. There are two types of diapers in the market, cloth diapers, and disposable diapers.

Each diaper has its own set of pros and corns. But there is no denying fact most of the parents prefer disposal diapers rather than cloth diapers because of the convenient and hassle-free.

But do remember easy things come with a cost. Have you ever wonder what these disposal diapers are made off? Whether Disposal Diapers are harmful? Or it is safe to use? As your baby spends most of their time in diapers, it is better to know the chemical which is present in them.

What’s in a disposable diaper?

Disposal diapers look simple and compact but are composed of many parts and layers than you couldn’t imagine. Most of the disposal diapers follow the same model.

The Outer and inner lining

These Inner lining which meets the sensitive skin of the babies are made of polypropylene which is the same stuff which presents in the thermal underwear’s.

On the other hand, outer lining is made of polyethylene which is the same material used in plastics. This is the reason diapers are degradable.

Absorbent Area

These are the core area where your babies pee and poop are absorbed.  This area contains white chlorinated wood pulp and absorbent crystals which are made sodium polyacrylate. This sodium polyacrylate is the substance responsible for the absorbent property of the diapers.

disposal diapers


Dyes are used in the diapers for the design and pattern which appear on the diapers.  Dyes like Disperse Blue 106, Disperse Blue 124, Disperse Yellow 3, and Disperse Orange 3 are used. They also are found in the elastic of the diapers.


There are some diapers that come with fragrances to neutralize the bad odor of the diapers. These scents contains citrusy- smelling and citral which presents in Orange and lemon oil.

List of Chemical present in Disposal diapers :


As I already said absorbent area contains wood pulp which is bleached white with chlorine. As the result of byproducts, dioxins are formed leaching in the air and diapers. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and WHO (World Health Organization) Dioxins are carcinogenic chemicals and constant exposure to the Dioxins can cause skin rashes, skin discoloration, immune system suspension, lung problem and some time leads to cancer.

Sodium Polyacrylate

Sodium polycarbonate (the absorbent gel) is responsible for the absorption of the pee and poop of the babies in the diapers.  These components absorb the liquids and create surface tension in order to keep prevent the liquids from leakage.  These Sodium polycarbonates are used in diapers for more than two decades there is no study are research stated that these substances are harmful to the baby. However these chemical are removed from the tampons as they cause toxic shock syndrome.

Tributyl-tin (TBT)

Tributyl-tin is a chemical that is commonly found in many diapers. These chemicals are non-degradable and to very harmful to water life. The recent study stated that this Tributyl-tin can trigger genes that promote fat growth in the cells which leads to obesity.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Most of the diapers contain chemical Volatile Organic Compounds. They are composed of a chemical such as xylene, ethylbenzene, dipentene, and toluene. These chemicals can cause an allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, nausea, irritation in eyes, headaches and even overexpose of VOC may cause cancer.

Other Chemicals

Certain chemicals commonly used in disposable diapers include: dyes, fragrances, and plastics can cause rashes and allergy to baby skins.


If you are concerned about the environmental hazards of disposable diapers as well as your baby skin. Then cloth diapers are best option for you.  Cloth diapers are chemical-free, Eco-friendly and come in different colors and patterns.

Cloth diapers are not very convenient when compared to Disposal diapers as you don’t have to wash every day. But considering the cost of buying disposable diapers, cloth diapers are worth washing. Apart from cost disposal diapers are harmful to the environment. Do you know 7.6 billion pounds of disposal diapers found in every year that can stretch to moon and back to the earth 9 times.

Amit Singh Rawat_Knowandask

Amit Singh Rawat: Owner/ Founder of Knowandask a Digital Learning platform to educate yourself learn spread knowledge and share knowledge.

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