You might want to rethink those cute little cartoon nappys you are putting on your little one. Sure they’re fun and colourful, but your baby is in no way able to appreciate them and they might actually be doing harm as there are potentially harmful chemicals present in some dyes. Chlorine, fragrances, phthalates are other known potential red flags can be found in disposable nappys. The problem with avoiding these? There aren’t any regulations stipulating that brands must disclose all of the ingredients in their nappys.
The easy fix is to only opt for brands that clearly disclose everything that goes into making their nappys, like Believe.
“Aside from the aforementioned fragrances and dyes, disposable nappys frequently contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs),” says lifestyle expert, Brittney Levine. “These include chemicals such as ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system. Some VOCs are even suspected of causing cancer in humans.”
Another ingredient parents should look out for is dioxin. “It’s a highly toxic carcinogen and endocrine disruptor that can be found in disposable nappys,” says Levine. “Dioxin is a byproduct of the chlorine bleaching process and the Archives of Disease in Childhood reports that trace amounts of dioxin are present on disposables.
Right about now you might be re-thinking that stance against reusable nappys (hello nappy blowdrys!). Not exactly. “Disposable nappys are less prone to skin irritation than reusable ones because disposable ones typically keep babies drier, preventing the moisture that often causes rashes,” says Levine. On the flip side ingredients like dyes and fragrances present in disposable ones may also irritate some babies.
Any parents can wax poetic about the importance of finding a nappy brand right for their baby. Just because something is leak-proof for one baby doesn’t mean it will be for another. Ditto for a nappy that may cause a rash for one baby and not another. It can be tricky to find exactly what works for your baby, so it’s best to start off buying a small number of nappys from one particular brand. If you’re worried about the effects of chemicals and aren’t finding success with re-usable nappys, aside from Believe Nappys, Levine recommends starting with Hello Bello subscription and Cuties nappys.