Did you know most nappies and wipes contain polyester, a man-made plastic which can harm your babies’ skin? And that several leading brands of wipes use chemicals which are classified as endocrine disruptors?
Polyester is made from petroleum and processed using harsh petro-chemicals. It is a popular choice for nappies, baby clothing and bedding because it is cheap, durable and easy to care for. However, polyester is not the best choice for babies’ skin, particularly around their delicate bottoms.
- Polyester is not breathable. This means that it does not allow air to circulate through the fabric, which can trap heat and moisture next to the skin. This can lead to overheating, sweating and nappy rash.
- Polyester is not absorbent. This means that it does not absorb urine or moisture, which can also contribute to overheating and rashes.
- Polyester is a synthetic fabric. This means that it is made from chemicals, which can be irritating to sensitive skin. Many young children are allergic to polyester.
- Polyester is often treated with chemicals to make it wrinkle-resistant and water-resistant. These chemicals can also be irritating to sensitive skin.
If you have a young baby, it is best to avoid nappy and wipe brands that contain polyester. There are several good eco-brands available now which offer 100% plant-based materials against your babies’ skin. Do read the label carefully though, as some “eco” brands may use less than 30% plant-based material and combine it with standard polyester.
Polyester is best avoided in baby wipes as well – for health and environmental reasons. There are a number of chemicals in baby wipes that have been shown to have endocrine-disrupting effects. These include:
- Phthalates. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are used to make plastics more flexible. They are also found in a variety of personal care products, including baby wipes. Phthalates have been linked to a number of health problems, including reproductive problems, cancer and developmental problems.
- Parabens. Parabens are a group of chemicals that are used as preservatives in a variety of products, including baby wipes. Parabens have been linked to a number of health problems, including cancer, reproductive problems and developmental problems.
- Triclosan. Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent that is used in a variety of products, including baby wipes. Triclosan has been linked to a number of health problems, including antibiotic resistance, thyroid problems and developmental problems.
- Fragrances. Fragrances are often used in baby wipes to mask the smell of the other ingredients. However, fragrances can contain a number of chemicals that have endocrine-disrupting effects. These chemicals can include phthalates, parabens and triclosan.