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Author Topic: Diaper gel dangerous?
Eanar
I Saw Three Shipments


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On a baby message board that I frequent there are some mothers that are pushing cloth diapering by saying that the gel in disposable diapers is toxic. Well, of course if you call pampers or huggies and the like they say that it isn't. The only place that I have seen this info is on sites where they are pushing cloth. I don't disagree with cloth diapering but for those of us who just don't have the time I don't think it is right for them to say that I am harming my baby if I really am not. Does anybody know any real info on this that I can post.

TIA

Eanar

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I'll say I don't know (boy that was helpful). However I have personally used both and I have received more warnings on cloth diapers. I don't think I received any about disposables but that doesn't mean there aren't any potential problems. One problem with cloth concern sanitation. Many are not washed at hot enough temperatures (and you don't want the water heater way up if you have other kids in the house or the child is walking). Also there are sometimes problems with sensitivities to detergents and bleaches. Not to mention the sharp diaper pins (if you use the pin kind). I've heard the plastic cover pants can cause rashes. I think that both types of diapers are safe and it's just a matter of personal preference. Just my humble opinion.

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"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Hacker Barbie
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Maybe it's toxic if you eat it? Many things that are toxic to eat are fine to have in contact with your skin.

Diana

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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The gel is actually a polymer powder (sodium polyacrylate) that gels when it gets wet.

EYE-RAB 2 MG MOD
ORL-RAT LD50 >5000 MG/KG

By definition, it's nontoxic. Pretty damned unhealthy to eat, though.

Seems pretty darn safe for physical contact, so if the polyester/cotton mesh that keeps the stuff from the baby rips, he'll be fine.

Under specific conditions it can be carcinogenic, but I think it has more to do with delivery than the material itself. So no concerns there.

As a chemical engineer and a person who generally likes kids, I'm not concerned.

Besides, if your kid is in the habit of eating his diapers and has the physical strength to tear one open, you have other problems to deal with.

Alchemy

http://www.babyminestore.com/information/disposablediapers.htm

http://www.chemed.auburn.edu/msds/sodiumpolyacrylate.pdf

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LibrarianJen
We Three Blings


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"Besides, if your kid is in the habit of eating his diapers and has the physical strength to tear one open, you have other problems to deal with."

Alchemy, that is too funny!


Seriously, Eanar, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Like Chimera said, some babies may be sensitive to these materials, but I think that would be very rare. I have a one-year old, and I have had no problems with any of the disposable diapers I've used. Maybe the clothnazis have a new tactic? ha ha ha Reminds me of some of the comments I received from the titnazis when they found out I wasn't breastfeeding. Sheesh.

If you want to be doubly sure, you can always talk to your pediatrician about it.

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Inkpad
The Red and the Green Stamps


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From this site:

quote:
The superabsorbency of many disposables is due to the chemical sodium polyacrylate. This substance has not been tested for possible long-term ill effects from 24-hour-a-day contact with a baby's reproductive organs.

Doctors from the University of Kiel in Germany have raised concerns about the link with disposable nappies and rising male infertility. In a recent study, disposable nappies have been found to maintain boys' testicles at higher than normal temperatures. This has been linked to reducing sperm counts.

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theloneabalone
Xboxing Day


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I'd say the absorbent material is "safe" as it is a polymer, but the monomer, and all acrylamide derivatives, are carcinogens AND neurotoxic. I work with acrylamide on a daily basis and we make sure the monomer is kept at bay. once it is polymerized, it is "safe" to handle. I say "safe" because there will always be some fraction of the unpolimerized monomer present, even if it is just a trace amount. I think a good stance would be to adhere to good hygiene and frequent cleaning of the bum. acrylamide dissolves quite well in soapy water.

thelone "whatever happened to using these? chinese love' em!!" abalone

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valee
I Saw Three Shipments


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Okay - some you chemistry types can take a look at the Barricade MSDS at http://www.barricadegel.com/technical.asp#MSDS and let us know if you feel it's safe. Barricade's the fire blocking gel that was developed when a firefighter noticed that the only thing that survived a household blaze was a soiled diaper.

And as for the University of Kiel study, it makes sense to me that a waterproof diaper would keep a baby's bum warmer than a cloth diaper. Studies of bike racers have shown decreased fertility because of the extra warmth caused by the bike shorts, and I recall faintly some study that showed that hot tubs can have the same effect.

The bottom line is that I'm not going to worry about a reduced sperm count in anyone wearing a diaper, no matter what their age.

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tlqeeeee
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Eanar:
On a baby message board that I frequent there are some mothers that are pushing cloth diapering by saying that the gel in disposable diapers is toxic.


Oh... there's CERTAINLY something toxic in diapers! But that's the same in both disposables AND cloth. [Big Grin]

How come the clothnazis don't mention the AMMONIA that builds up in a diaper pail between weekly visits from the diaper sevice. Certainly THAT is legitimately poisonous. Even with a well-sealed bucket, you DO have to open it to make bew dirty diaper deposits. [Razz]

--tlqEEEEE

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Double Latte
Happy Holly Days


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Eanar, those parenting message boards are often dominated by the anti-disposable diapers fanatics. I don't want to turn this thread into a debate about the diapers, just point out that they don't research or back up what they say. They just try to scare you into using cloth.

A few months ago, we had a similar post here about bits of wood or wood splinters supposedly being hidden within the gel. I'm pretty sure that was rubbish, too!

As for lowered sperm count due to warmer temperatures, I doubt that the baby boy has any sperm at all! Doesn't sperm production start at puberty? Anyway, I know it continues throughout the male's life. He is always making new sperm. (The female, otoh, is born with all the eggs she will ever have, already waiting in the ovaries.)

Men suffering from low sperm count sometimes correct the problem just by switching to looser-fitting underwear and pants, and sometimes use cold packs on the scrotum. So, even if it did happen, the problem is only going to be temporary anyway.

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God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked
The good fortune to run into the ones that I do
And the eyesight to tell the difference.

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Cynestria
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by tlqeeeee:
How come the clothnazis don't mention the AMMONIA that builds up in a diaper pail between weekly visits from the diaper sevice.

Not everyone *uses* a service for it... My mom used cloth diapers on us (she wasn't a nazi about it, it just saved a *lot* of money over the course of 3 kids) and she washed them herself. No waiting a week for the service to get them if you do that.
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tlqeeeee
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Cynestria:
quote:
Originally posted by tlqeeeee:
How come the clothnazis don't mention the AMMONIA that builds up in a diaper pail between weekly visits from the diaper sevice.

Not everyone *uses* a service for it... My mom used cloth diapers on us (she wasn't a nazi about it, it just saved a *lot* of money over the course of 3 kids) and she washed them herself. No waiting a week for the service to get them if you do that.
When we were originally debating over cloth or dispies, we read A LOT of reports that the cost between the two was a wash. Both ways were expensive, but no one way was significantly less expensive than the other.

We also read reports on how it's a draw between which is worse for the environment. It's a well-known saw that dispies don't degrade in landfills, but the articles we read made a great point of emphasizing how much more WATER was contaminated by washing and rewashing and bleaching out the cloth diapers.

Since it we basically a wash, both monetarily and environmental-impactwise, we went with convenience: dispies. With a slight deviation when I mistakenly sensed that Child-in-Question was READY for potty training, and got advice that if I used cloth diapers she wouldn't like sitting in the wetness, and would train that much more quickly.

CiQ DIDN'T CARE that she was sitting in major wetness. She wasn't ready to train, and I couldn't handle the stench. So we went back to dispies.

Cynestria, I'm not disputing that your mother saved lots of money using cloth diapers. It's just that the research WE saw indicated that it was likely a draw. That could have been biased, I know, but we made the best decision we could with the information available to us at the time.

--tlqEEEEE

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just me
The Red and the Green Stamps


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If you use a diaper service it is probably is a draw, based on the stats I've seen. But I use cloth diapers and am definately saving money. I own 24 prefolds at about $1 a peice plus 5 diaper covers per size, at about $5 a piece. Add a bit of hot water and detergent. I don't use a diaper service and I don't use bleach on them, but have not seen significant evidence to show which has the worst environmental impact. I'm not about to point fingers about it. Besides, I often use disposable at bedtime because I don't want my baby sitting in a wet cloth diaper, and she pees TONS at night. There are bound to be people who have a problem with the way I do things. They'll just have to get over it.
I don't get why people have to get so crazy about telling everybody how bad they are for not doing things their way. It's so stupid. I practice attachment type parenting, and am going absolutely nuts with lots of the AP folks I know because they seem to think that if they use all this "natural" (and expensive) stuff they are somehow morally superior to everybody else. Often they are flat out deceived about the stuff they are pushing.

Well, some of that is more or less just me venting. Feel free to ignore me [Smile]

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Cynestria
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by tlqeeeee:
Cynestria, I'm not disputing that your mother saved lots of money using cloth diapers. It's just that the research WE saw indicated that it was likely a draw. That could have been biased, I know, but we made the best decision we could with the information available to us at the time.

--tlqEEEEE

Ok... I'm not really sure where that came from, since my only real point was that they don't sit around for ages and stink if you aren't using a service. I never said anything that even implied that there was anything wrong with disposable diapers, so I'm not sure where the vigorous defense comes in. Bear in mind too that recent checks on price aren't necessarily applicable to when my mother was doing it anyway, since she used cloth diapers on *me*, so it was obviously a few years back...
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Rollerwings
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I'll never forget when I first brought my newborn son home and called for my mom in a panic because there were crystals all over his diaper area. She assured me they were just from the disposable diaper that had split open.

I've been using cloth dipes recently for my 3-month-old, and since we have well water (and thus no water bill) they're a HUGE money saver.

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