The Harms Of Disposable Diapers Essay

Length: 1525 words

A) Production impact

1) Environmental and health concerns right to doorstep. Chop down four or five trees to make 500 kg of fluffy wood pulp baby will use in 2  years. (Catherine McDiarmid, 1997 Environmental Concerns) Then you will need just for your child, over 2,800 cubic meters of nonrenewable natural gas to make 325 kg of plastic for the waterproof backing and packaging for the 6,000 disposable diapers your child will use.
2) (Jane McConnell, 1998,  The Joy of Cloth Diapers) It takes about 82,000 tons of plastic and a quarter million trees to manufacture the disposable diapers that cover the bottoms of 90% of the babies born in the U.S. each year.
3) (The Canadian Cloth Diaper Association, 1997, The Facts: Cloth Versus Disposable Diapers) For the convenience of using disposable diapers, you are helping release wastewater produced by processing the pulp, paper and plastic that contains solvents, sludge, heavy metals, unreacted polymers, dioxins, and furans that will make their way into your neighborhood air and water.

B) Health hazards

1) Forget environment, toxic chemicals and baby. (Candace Brecevic, 2000, Disposing of Disposables) Newborn skin has an underdeveloped outer layer, through which chemicals are

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more readily absorbed and into the fat cells.
2) (Jane McConnell, 1998, The Joy of Cloth Diapers) Disposable diapers subjects your babies skin to a chemical by-product of the paper bleaching process known as Dioxin. Trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves and the chemical has been known to cause birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases.
3) Babies exposed to questionable chemicals. Sodium polyacrylate (Jane McConnell, 1998, The Joy of Cloth Diapers) this is what makes superabsorbent diapers so absorbent. This material absorbs up to 100 times its weight in water. (Candace Brecevic, 2000, Disposing of Disposables) Studies show that when this chemical becomes wet it is even more absorbent and pulls moisture from baby’s body. Sodium polyacrylate is the same substance that was removed from tampons in 1985 because of its link to toxic shock syndrome. No studies have been done on the long-term effects of this chemical being in contact with a baby’s reproductive organs 24 hours a day for upwards of two years.
4) Feel dry when wet. Less frequent changing. Longer exposure to bacteria from urine, which can cause diaper rash or other bacterial infections. Plastic does not breath to let out the ammonia formed in the bacterial breakdown of urine.
5) With all the chemicals (2000, Disposable Diapers Linked to Asthma) A Study published in the October, 1999 issue of the Archives of Environmental Health found that laboratory mice exposed to various brands of disposable diapers suffered increased eye, nose, and throat irritation, including bronchoconstriction similar to that of an asthma attack.
6) Another issue is safety, (Candace Brecevic, 2000, Disposing of Disposables) some disposable diapers have been linked to suffocation. The plastic exterior of the diaper is removable to aid in disposal. However, it can be removed by your baby and can be as dangerous as letting them play with a plastic bag. The absorbent padding with the sodium polyacrylate can also be pulled apart by your baby and stuffed into their mouth and nose. To top it off, the sticky tabs are not always strongly attached and if removed may be ingested.

C) Disposing of Disposables

1) Exposing child to questionable chemicals, bacterial infection, and suffocation. Remove t soiled diaper, flushing the human waste, throw in trash ( Catherine McDiarmid, 1997,Environmental Concerns) you will be adding 214 pounds of raw fecal matter into our landfill sites which are not designed to handle human waste. As many as 100 viruses can survive in your babies soiled diaper for up to two weeks, including live polio viruses, excreted from your recently vaccinated baby. Rainwater washing through dumps can carry these viruses into underground streams and from there into our public and private water supplies.
2) What happens to your child’s 6,000 diapers? (Lee Reilly, 97, The Diaper Debate)When a diaper is thrown into a traditional trash system it is on its way to perpetual preservation. 6,000 per child (Jane McConnell 1998, The joy of Cloth Diapers) Disposable diapers make up the third largest source of preserved solid waste in landfills, after newspaper and food and beverage containers, a significant fact, considering they are a single product, used by a limited portion of the population. (Linda Baker, 1998, Bottom Out) Peter Spendelow, a waste reduction specialist at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says, Think about all the attention that is given to plastics and bottle recycling . Well there are now more dirty diapers in the landfills than rigid plastics combined. 18 billion diapers in landfills a year.

Conclusion
A) Clearly, there are problems related to using disposable diapers that can cause harm to the environment and to your family’s health.
B) Consider the unnecessary depletion of natural resources, the toxic air and water pollution created in the manufacturing process, the health risk to your children and those drinking the water and the huge volume of garbage.
C) It is very difficult to comprehend how washing and reusing cloth diapers could create equivalent damage.

Bibliography

Bibliography:
Baker, Linda. Bottoming Out. E Magazine: The environmental Magazine. Sept/Oct, 1998: 25.
Academic Search Elite. Galileo. 30, Oct. 2000.
1. A part of the Earth Action Network Inc.
2. It was found on the database Galileo.
3. The work quotes several different sources so it seems that they are well informed.
4. It is a current article published in 1998.
5. Earth Action Network published the work.
6. The work states who they are quoting.
7. It does not include a bibliography
8. They work does not contain evidence that the author is prejudice.
Brecevic, Candace. Disposing of Disposables. Natural Life. Sept/Oct, 2000. 26. Mas FullText
Ultra. Galileo. 30 Oct. 2000.
1. The author is the owner of Diapering Decisions in London, Ontario.
2. It is credible because it is on Galileo database.
3. The author is well informed because in the article she says that she has done the research.
4. It was published September/October of this year.
5. The work was published by Alternate Press
6. No documentation
7. No bibliography.
8. She is only prejudice against disposable diapers because she knows they have their problems.
The Canadian Cloth Diaper Association. The Facts: Cloth versus Disposable Diapers. 18
April. 2000. Born to Love Diapering and Parenting Articles online. 30 Oct. 2000.
1. Born to love is certified a safe shopping site by The Public Eye and also a member of Retail Canada.com. The Canadian Cloth Diaper Association is a federally incorporated non-profit organization.
2. Born to Love is monitored by The Public Eye. The Canadian Cloth Diaper Association is a federal organization.
3. The work quotes many reputable companies such as Proctor and Gamble and the Toronto Board of Health so it seems that the authors are well informed.
4. The work was published this year.
5. The company that published this article seems reputable because reputable companies back it.
6. The work provides documentation to support important points. After each quote the work cites the source of the information.
7. No bibliography
8. The author is probably prejudice because it is an association for cloth diapers.
9. The web page is complete.
10. The website does contain links and they do work.
Disposable Diapers Linked to Asthma. Mothering. Jan/Feb 2000. 35. Health Source Plus.
Galileo. 30 Oct. 2000.
1. The source is a respected magazine.
2. The source is credible because the article is on the Galileo database.
3. The work contains evidence that the author is well informed because it uses studies and doctors as its sources.
4. The work was published this year.
5. A reputable magazine published the work.
6. The work provides documentation from scientific studies
7. No bibliography
8. The work does not contain evidence that the author is prejudice.
McConnell, Jane. The Joy of Cloth Diapers. Mothering. May/Jun. 1998. 42. Health Source
Plus. Galileo. 30 Oct. 2000.
1. The source is a respected magazine.
2. The source is credible because the article is on the Galileo database.
3. The work contains many statics and factual information.
4. The work was published in 1998.
5. The Magazine Mothering is a reputable company.
6. The work cites its quotes inorder to provide documentation of its support material.
7. No bibliography
8. The work looks at both sides of the issue. Why cloth diapers are good and bad.
McDiarmid, Catherine. Environmental Concerns. Born to Love Diapering and Parenting Articles online. 30 Oct. 2000.
1. Born to love is certified a safe shopping site by The Public Eye and also a member of Retail Canada.com. The Canadian Cloth Diaper Association is a federally incorporated non-profit organization.
2. Born to Love is monitored by The Public Eye.
3. The wok contains specific numbers and facts indicating that the author is well informed.
4. The site was last update on April 18, 2000
5. The company that published this article seems reputable because reputable companies back it.
6. The work does not provide documentation of support material.
7. No bibliography
8. The author does not talk about the bad side of cloth diapers.
9. The web page is complete.
10. The website does contain links and they do work.
Reilly, Lee. The Diaper Debate. Vegetarian Times. Mar. 1997. 90. Health Source Plus.
Galileo. 30 Oct. 2000.
1. The source is a respected magazine.
2. The source is credible because it is on the Galileo database.
3. The Author quotes many different sources of information.
4. The work was published in 1997
5. The work was published by the Sabot Publishing company
6. The work provides documentation for support material.
7. No bibliography
8. The work talks about how the greener choice for diapers may depend on where someone lives. So, no the author is not prejudice.

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