This saturday the Macquarie Centre has an “Environment Expo”, and the Australian Nappy Network has a stall there. I volunteered to spend a couple of hours talking to people about the benefits of real nappies over single use nappies, and I thought I’d better brush up on my knowledge.
I came across this page, which claims (and links to a scientific journal article to support) that the rise of scrotal temperature in disposable nappies may be party responsible for slower testicular development and reduced sperm counts. Far out!
When I was a kid, mum used terry cotton nappies, with plastic over pants on me. Nappies were soaked in bleach, washed in a twin tub washing machine, and hung on the hills hoist to dry. And there really wasn’t any other way of doing it. Then slowly, disposables were introduced, became more affordable, and eventually became ubiquitous, and quotidian.
They also point to a link between airborne emissions from single use (disposable) nappies to an marked increase in childhood asthma.
– The gels used in nappies were banned from tampon use because of the link to Toxic Shock Syndrome
– Chlorine bleaching is still used in many disposables, adding dioxins to the nappy.
– Polypropylene covers and liners and made with the use of PCB’s.
– Most people don’t bother scraping solids from a disposable nappy into the toilet, meaning that it’s going into unstable landfill, and leaching into the water table.
Add to this the fact that each single use nappy uses about a cup of crude oil in its manufacture, and I’m feeling even better about using only minimal disposables.
I’ve been feeling like I am challenging the dominant paradigm by choosing cloth over disposables. I have felt a couple of times like I am pissing people off, they seem to take our choice to be a personal challenge. But I think it’s really interesting to take something as mundane as nappies, and really examine the issues involved. And as I am notoriously crap at not coming over like a bulldozer, I’m wondering if this is the right line of volunteering for me to get into…
Anyway, I’ve agreed to do it, and to back out now would leave them in the lurch. Wish me luck!
*Note that the bum in this picture is quite a bit plumper than the one in this picture.