Family Lifestyle

What’s in your baby’s disposable nappies

Chemicals in disposable nappies

Did you know that disposable diapers contain toxic chemicals, drying agents, dyes, and fragrances? Me neither. I’ve never thought that diapers can be so harmful to my baby’s skin.

I wasn’t considering any other option than disposable nappy. That was my first choice. But know when I did my research and know how many chemicals are in those nappies I’m quite sure that I would change for clothes ones.

Why I’ve decided to check what’s in my baby’s nappies? I saw several pictures with really big burns and blistered skin of little babies. As you can imagine that was caused by disposable nappies.

I’m not saying it happens to every baby, but there is a chance it can affect some of them. So first of all, when you need to choose what type of diaper to use on your delicate baby’s bottom you need to know that your baby will be wearing diapers 24 hours per day for about the first 2 ¾-3 years of his life. That’s mean a huge amount of diapers. And the same amount of chemicals your baby is exposed to through skin.

It’s time to reveal what’s in your baby’s disposable diaper!

  • Sodium polyacrylate–  is a super absorbent polymer (SAP) that can absorb 300 times its weight in tap water. This super absorbent polymer is added to diapers as a powder form and turns into a gel when diaper becomes wet. You can see it on your baby’s skin as little crystals. It can cause skin irritations and respiratory problems. What’s interesting this chemical was removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns!


  • Dioxins– Most of the diapers are bleached with chlorine, resulting in remaining traces of dioxins which are carcinogenic. Dioxins are environmental pollutants. They belong to the so-called ‘dirty dozen’ – a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs).  What’s more EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) lists it as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. Also, it can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones.


  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)-  VOCs include a variety of chemicals ( ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene), some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. They can cause neurological problems, eye irritation, and decreased immunity. Some VOCs are even suspected of causing cancer in humans.


  • Tributyl-tin (TBT)- Considered as a highly toxic environmental pollutant, TBT spreads through the skin and has a hormone-like effect in the tiniest concentrations. TBT harms the immune system and impairs the hormonal system, and it is speculated that it could cause infertility in boys.

Do you still consider disposable nappies as the best choice for your baby? I bet you don’t. But it’s the easiest one. I don’t judge you because I’m using them as well. Don’t know if it’s not too late to switch. I need to check what other options I have. If you are using something else let me know how it works for you and if is worth to change.


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  • Reply Marysa

    The amount of chemicals in most disposables are horrible! I alternated between cloth and natural disposables, which hopefully did not expose my little ones to chemicals.

    3 September 2017 at 23:55
  • Reply Rebecca

    Yikes, that’s scary. Is that all disposable diapers? I wonder about the more natural, eco-friendly brands…

    4 September 2017 at 02:29
  • Reply Stacey

    Wow! I didnt realize all the things in disposable diapers!

    4 September 2017 at 02:29
  • Reply Fiona - Coombe Mill

    I tied cloth nappies a couple of times knowing the crap in disposables, I have to say with the triplets I didn’t even attempt it, just changing them all was enough but it is good to be aware. Popping by from #KCACOLS

    4 September 2017 at 09:59
  • Reply Sara

    It’s awful! I used my fair share of disposable nappies on my babies, but I also used cloth, and I’m really looking forward to the littlest one to be fully out of nappies and never have to think about this again. The chemical content is shocking! 🙁 Thank you for sharing this very important post. And thanks for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

    4 September 2017 at 11:21
  • Reply Life as Mum

    Oh wow!
    I have actually thought about switching to washable ones a few months ago but I just couldn’t be bothered with all the extra washing and the cost too! #KCACOLS

    4 September 2017 at 12:33
  • Reply Laura

    We really prefer disposable and luckily it doesn’t bother my son’s skin at all, but this is great information for parents that need another option!

    4 September 2017 at 14:16
  • Reply Kaity | With Kids and Coffee

    We use disposable in our family and thankfully haven’t had any trouble with our girls’ skin. When you’re on a tight budget, you have to pick and choose where you spend the money, and we choose to spend it on organic food for the girls and higher-quality natural bath products. I wish we had the money to switch on the diapers too, but it’s just not there. We received a lot of disposables as gifts, and it’s really hard to compete with free.
    Kaity | With Kids and Coffee recently posted…Game of Thrones Gifts Any Fan Would Swoon OverMy Profile

    5 September 2017 at 16:02
  • Reply Lifewithdaughters

    Cloth mom over here!!
    You get great kits out there for not so much money! Bought my stash for 50dollers. And it is never to late to switch because you can always resell as preloved

    6 September 2017 at 18:46

    I honestly didn’t know that there was these horrible nasties in them!

    13 September 2017 at 10:49
  • Reply Rachel George, Ordinary Hopes

    I also hate the enormous waste problem happening through use of disposable nappies. Maybe if more people knew what was in them they would look to other options? #KCACOLS
    Rachel George, Ordinary Hopes recently posted…When did things change?My Profile

    14 September 2017 at 21:42
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