I recently received an email from Toys ‘R Us promoting Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers. They are being advertised as containing organic cotton (on the outside of the diaper, not on the inside where it counts). They are fragrance free and supposedly hypoallergenic.
I wrote to Huggies to ask them if their diapers contained the polymer gel which causes discomfort and diaper rash on babies bottoms. The response I received was that the Huggies Diapers DO in fact contain the urine-absorbing polymer POLYACRYLATE.
More information on polyacrylate can be found here: http://chemistry.about.com/od/howthingsworkfaqs/f/diapers.htm
A green take on the issue can be found here:
from that site:
“Sodium Polyacrylate- Ever noticed little gel balls on your babies bottom after wearing a disposable nappy? Welcome to Sodium Polyacrylate – A Super Absorbent Polymer that turns urine into gel and can absorb 100 times its weight in liquid. This is a substance which was banned from use in tampons in 1985 due to its link with Toxic Shock Syndrome. Employees in factories producing Polyacrylate suffer from female organ damage, fatigue and weight loss. No long term studies have been conducted to assess the risks of 24/7 exposure to this compound on a babies vulnerable genitals.
Due to its extreme absorbency, this chemical has been found to draw moisture from the skin, causing severe nappy rash and bleeding of perineal and scrotal tissue. Sodium Polyacrylate is also lethal to cats when inhaled.”
Readers–make your own decision, but make it an informed one!