Diapers kept out of landfills
by GNB customers as of
October 1, 2010

Cloth is better for your baby's health and development

There are more than 60 chemicals in disposable diapers. Some are known toxins and one is a chemical banned from tampons in the 1980s. These chemicals have been linked to asthma and male infertility. In contrast, cloth diapers have been linked to less diaper rash and younger potty training. Don't believe us? Do your own research.

One study (1) exposed mice to both disposable and cloth diapers in a mid-sized room. Chemicals released by the disposables caused symptoms similar to asthma. Out of six cotton and disposable diaper brands tested, the cloth diapers did not cause any problems.

Male infertility
Another study (2) attributed the increase in male infertility in the last 25 years to the fact that most parents now use disposables. The plastic-lined disposables kept more heat next to the scrotum - as much as 2 degrees - and temperature is key to fertility. We're not for babies having babies, but someday you might want grandchildren.

There are many in disposables but we'll mention just two. The super absorbent "gel" sodium polyacrylate is used in almost all disposables (the exception is Tushies diapers, the only disposables we will provide) and is the same sort of chemical that was banned from Rely tampons in the 1980s because of its link to toxic shock syndrome. This chemical is how a baby's bottom can feel dry even when sagging with the weight of urine. It enables parents to delay diaper changes on the guise that the baby is dry, but dry does not mean clean.

The other chemical is dioxin, which is a by-product of the bleaching that makes the diapers white (our diapers are unbleached and, therefore, softer!). A study (3) showed dioxin can cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage and skin diseases. Why would you choose to put your baby's bottom in nearly constant contact with harmful chemicals for years?

The bottom line: Don't trust that the diaper companies have your baby's best interest at heart. Cincinnati's own Procter & Gamble denied its diapers were contaminated with hormone pollutant TBT even after Greenpeace conducted its own study. Greenpeace's toxics expert, Thilo Maack, said: "The reaction of Procter & Gamble is a scandal. The company is downplaying the danger instead of actively searching for the source of TBT in Pampers. It is absolutely irresponsible to expose babies to these extremely toxic substances."

Potty Training
You can expect your baby to potty train a year earlier in cloth diapers. Chemical-laden disposables feel too dry, so your baby doesn't understand that they pee and then are wet. (Of course, cloth diapers do soak it up, just not as instantly.)

According to The New York Times (4):

"In 1957, 92 percent of children were toilet-trained by the age of 18 months, studies found. Today the figure for 2-year-olds is just 4 percent, according to a large-scale Philadelphia study. Only 60 percent of children have achieved mastery of the toilet by 36 months, the study found, and 2 percent remain untrained at the age of 4 years."

Also, Maria Smith of Baby Fresh USA, a maker of wipes, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal (5) as saying:

"The products [wipes] are also benefiting from the fact that children now wear diapers until they are 36 to 42 months old, some six months longer than when Baby Fresh was introduced 16 years ago (in 1977)."

Of course it's nice not to have to change diapers, but potty training is also is highly significant for your baby's development. Columnist and best-selling author John Rosemond says late potty training delays the switch from parents as caretakers to parents as authority figures. This helps explain why modern parents may have more discipline problems.

Diaper rash
This one is simple. In the 1955 virtually every baby in the United States was diapered using cloth diapers. In 1961, Procter & Gamble introduced Pampers, a disposable diaper. In 1991, approximately 90% of babies in the United States were diapered using disposable diapers. Coincidentally, the occurrence of diaper rash has increased from 7% in 1955 to 78% in 1991, according to the Journal of Pediatrics (6)


  1. Anderson, Rosalind, and Julius Anderson. "Acute Respiratory Effects of Diaper Emissions," Archives of Environmental Health, 54, October 1999.
  2. Partsch, Aukamp, and Sippell. "Scrotal temperature is increased in disposable plastic lined nappies." Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel. May 2000.
  3. EPA, "Integrated Risk Assessment for Dioxins and Furans from Chlorine Bleaching in Pulp and Paper Mills."
  4. The New York Times, January 12, 1999
  5. The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 1993
  6. Journal of Pediatrics, 1959, Vol 54 pp. 793-800 "Relationship of Peri-Anal Dermititis to Fecel pH" by Drs. Tamio, Steiner, Benjamin
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