Diaper Washing_: Bleaching Diapers

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Saturday, July 22, 2006 | 0 comments
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Thanks to Carrie for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Well, I would like to offer a different opinion in the hopes some moms might do their own research. Since a lot of us are cloth diapering to improve our kids health, it might be of interest for people to know that one of the negative health implications with paper diapers is that due to the bleaching process these diapers contain higher levels of dioxin. Bleaching diapers yourself creates the same problem.

The largest sources of dioxin in our environment are not diapers, but household cleansers that contain bleach and that are then washed down the sink or drains do account for much of the problem with ground and water contamination. I think this is especially important when you consider that the major way dioxin affects health is that it messes with your hormones.

What affect does placing this on our children's genital areas potentially have? Many researchers have been questioning the rise in auto- immune diseases and estrogen dominance diseases over the last few decades and have implicated dioxin as a major part of the problem. In one study, when exposed to dioxin, 60% of female chimps developed endometriosis.

Dioxin has also been implicated in several nervous system disorders as well as higher cancer rates. We can't control the meat and dairy industry or other factories that produce lots of dioxin waste in the immediate sense (though we could through our political system) but we can control the exposure in our homes by avoiding toxic household cleansers and particularly bleach so we and our children's exposure levels remain low.

I learned about this in my quest to figure out the mystery of endometriosis which has caused me to need surgeries, have numerous miscarriages, infertility and the loss of an ovary not to mention significant pain. I was shocked to discover how well documented and explored the link between this disease and environmental dioxin levels are. I am sure it isn't the only reason I and others have developed this illness, but it might be part of the picture. Now they are researching the connection this may have with other auto- immune illnesses as well.

The good news is that there are many ways to address the same needs without these cleansers. Oxygen bleach, hydrogen peroxide and hotter wash waters can replace bleach in their whitening abilities and grapefruit seed extract and other enzyme cleaners are excellent stain treaters and will kill bacteria and fungi.

Simply boiling your diapers or undies once is enough to " sterilize" them from a yeast or bacterial infection as well. I have found a lot of great info in a book called " Clean and Green" by Annie Berthold- Bond which has dozens of non- toxic cleaning ideas.



About Catherine: I have been writing my Frugal Baby Tips since 1982, when I was a young divorced mom of two - for my baby product company, Born to Love. I am now mom to three grown up sons, and a grandma - and happily married to a wonderful man. We have rescued two little dogs, Denny and Dexter - and a rescue cat, Bella.

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