So why cloth diaper? A few simple reasons:
- A typical disposable diaper takes up to 500 years to decompose and an estimated 27.4 billion diapers are used each year in the U.S. In contrast, cloth diapers can be reused over 200 times before they need to be turned into rags, which can then be used indefinitely.
- The average baby uses about 6,000 diapers throughout the first two years of life. At a typical cost of 25 cents per disposable diaper, parents can expect to pay around $66 per month (or $1600 per year) on disposable diapers. In contrast, using cloth diapers tends to cost between $300 and $1000.
- Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. Additionally, disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome.