It’s almost impossible to envision a world without disposable diapers. They became the standard in the 1960s and have since become universally available due to their convenience and affordability.
Given the overwhelming number of brands and types of diapers in the market, seldom do we find what different diaper materials are made of.
So, what are disposable diapers made of?
Companies that manufacture diapers are not required by law to list the different materials used in the making of a diaper. However, most disposable diapers have some fundamental basics:
– External and internal lining: The external lining of disposable diapers is usually made of a thin layer of polyethylene. The inside lining in contrast, is made of polypropylene most of the time, and is the part that comes in contact with the skin of your infant. Both the internal and the external lining are free of safety issues.
– Absorbent Core: This is the part of the diaper that does the absorbing. The materials commonly used are wood pulp and polymers with enhanced absorption abilities such as sodium polyacrylate, which also allows for a thinner build.
– Integrated Fragrance: An aroma is instilled between the absorbing center and the external sheets to help alleviate possible unpleasant smells. The scent is usually citrus-like. If on the other hand you would rather avoid perfumed diapers, there are neutral-smelling options as well.
– Dye: The only concerns with the use of dyes are allergic reactions, but this occurs very rarely.
– Dioxin: This is a chemical found in the wood pulp mentioned above and is considered cancerous. However, there is no reason to worry. Dioxins are found in the environment in a quantity thousands of times over what is found in diapers and present no danger to humans with the quantities found in disposable diapers.
Overall, physicians agree, diapers are safe, and save a lot of trouble for many parents. Also, the incidence of rash has reduced over time. It is important to change the baby’s diaper as soon as possible if the infant has expelled fecal matter because of higher acidity found in stool. If the baby urinates, immediate changing of the diaper is not as much of a necessity. This is an important thing to remember if the baby is asleep, waking it to change a wet diaper might not be as urgent.