Conventional baby nappies, clothing and bedding are made with plastics (polyester / polypropylene) and non-organic cotton, grown using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, is bleached and dyed with yet more harsh chemicals. But more awareness of chemical sensitivities has many parents, environmentalists and public health advocates wondering if the materials that children are exposed to could be impacting their health negatively in the long run.
Is Polyester safe for babies?
Polyester and polypropylene has been used for the last 20-30 years in children's nappies and clothing. So why the fuss now?
Although polyester is found in many baby clothes, toys, blankets, mattresses, and carpets, it is not good for babies' skin. It is a synthetic fabric made up of petroleum and petrochemicals. It is not breathable. It can cause overheating in babies and exacerbate eczema and skin allergies.
Surely cotton is ok?
Around 25% of the world’s pesticide and 10% of insecticides go to cotton crops every year. In addition, petroleum scouring agents, softeners, brighteners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia and formaldehyde are used in the processing of cotton once it is harvested.
Beyond the environmental impacts of this onslaught in the vicinity of production facilities, there is increasing concern that residues of some of these chemicals might rub off on baby.
Why is babies' skin so delicate?
A baby’s skin is more porous and thinner than that of an adult, and as such absorbs stuff more easily. This means that children are at greater risk for pesticide-related health problems than adults.
Johnson & Johnson, one of the world’s leading purveyors of baby products, states on its website that “a baby’s skin is thinner, more fragile and less oily than an adult’s” and is “less resistant to bacteria and harmful substances in the environment.”
Lotus Organics, which makes organic clothing for both babies and adults, reports that “millions of children in the U.S. receive up to 35 percent of their estimated lifetime dose of some carcinogenic pesticides by age five through food, contaminated drinking water, household use, and pesticide drift.”
Also, one to watch out for - polyester /cotton blends. Marketed as "Cotton Enhanced" or "Cotton blend". These items still contain a high degree of polyester.
So what's the alternative?
Materials made of bamboo, hemp or organic cotton, offer your baby the highest degree of protection. All grown without pesticides or fertilisers, and creating breathable, soft fabrics.
We chose bamboo for our nappies and wipes because of its extra special properties. In addition to being organically grown and breathable, bamboo is temperature regulating and naturally antibacterial. This helps to reduce nappy rash even further.
And bamboo is one of the most sustainable crops on earth. It grows like a weed! In fact, it is a weed! In the growing season it can grow 91 cms a day*. Sustainable harvesting of bamboo does not decimate large areas, but actually allows light to reach the forest floor and improve regeneration.
We truly believe bamboo is best - Best for Baby and Best for Mama Earth.
*Guinness World Records states that the world record for the fastest growing plant on earth belongs to three bamboo species that grow up to 91 cm (35”) per day, which is almost 4 cm (1.5”) an hour, or at a speed of 0.00003 km/h (0.00002 mph).
Giant timber bamboo (Bambusa oldhamii), Chinese Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis), and Madake bamboo (Phyllostachys bambusoides).