All about disposable diapers

All the brands of disposable diapers offered were chosen on the basis of their composition, test reports, certificates, their performance but also their approach and of their ethical values. Not easy to choose! We will therefore help you to see more clearly and to decipher the composition of disposable diapers.

Disposable diapers: what to watch out for?

Certain components, whether or not mentioned on the packaging, should attract your attention:

  • The non-biodegradable plastic made from petroleum
  • Lotion or synthetic fragrances added to the absorbent veil which are potentially allergenic
  • Harmful chemicals and volatile organic compounds - not mentioned by manufacturers because no legislation requires them to do so
  • The possible presence of traces of pesticides for products from non-organic farming
  • Bleaching with chlorine which produces fumes of toxic products for babies and the environment
  • The amount of sodium polyacrylate (or SAP), a super-absorbent that guarantees the "dry buttocks" effect ", Of synthetic origin and not biodegradable
  • The presence of latex in rubber bands, a potential allergen
  • The mention that the product has been dermatologically tested, which is not always the case for traditional diapers !

Zoom on the SAP :

"SAP" or sodium polyacrylate is a synthetic substance that comes in the form of small grains. These grains swell on contact with moisture and are intended to absorb baby's urine. It is when there is too much moisture that the SAP may be released from the diaper. You can do the test at home by dipping a disposable diaper in water: with this excess moisture, the SAP will come out in the form of small beads.

SAP does not come into contact with baby's skin because it is enclosed in cellulose (naturally occurring in ecological diapers). In addition, if the baby is changed regularly, there is no risk of his skin coming into contact with this absorbent. SAP currently has no natural alternative, neither for conventional diapers, nor for ecological diapers. The only 0% SAP guaranteed diaper is cloth diaper . It should be noted that ecological disposable diapers contain less SAP (6 to 13g) than conventional disposable diapers (20g and +) because it is associated with wheat starch or cotton and the SAP balls are covered with cellulose in order to isolate the baby's bottom as much as possible from this polymer. This explains why most environmentally friendly disposable diapers are often thicker than traditional diapers.

Zoom on chlorine bleaching:

Natural cellulose is brown in color; for aesthetic reasons, it is whitened in a more or less natural way. Bleaching with chlorine is unnatural since dioxins can come into contact with baby's skin later. The TCF mention guarantees the total absence of chlorine bleaching, or chlorinated derivatives (such as ECF, less harmful than elemental chlorine), the bleaching is carried out using oxygenated combinations.

Zoom on the inner wall:

Directly in contact with baby's skin, the inner veil must be healthy for baby. It is he who isolates the baby's buttocks from the SAP. The inner veil, also called "surface veil", consists of the contact veil and the distribution veil. The first protects the baby's skin from the urine contained in the absorbent mattress and the second is found underneath, to bring the urine to the absorbent mattress. This veil is non-woven and generally produced from polypropylene. In the layers ecological it can also be made of agro-sourced materials (sugar cane or corn).

Why prefer ecological disposable diapers?

  • Eco-friendly diapers undergo tighter controls
  • They contain less SAP than regular layers
  • They are free from preservatives, lotions or harmful fragrances
  • They are mainly composed of biodegradable cellulose wadding (partially bleached or not with oxygen and not with chlorine )
  • More environmentally friendly, they degrade more easily
  • They are more environmentally friendly than conventional disposable diapers

Currently, there is no model of 100% natural disposable diaper , organic and biodegradable, with 0% synthetic material or 0% impact on the environment. Ecological disposable diapers contain more renewable raw materials (40 to 60% compared to 15-35% for conventional diapers), fewer harmful substances and less plastics than conventional diapers which can contain between 65 and 85%. The manufacturers of eco-friendly diapers do their best to regularly offer new models with a minimum of synthetic materials and ingredients. They carry out more controls and implement more stringent manufacturing processes than required by the legal framework.

To find your way around, we trust the logos:

Nordic Ecolabel Nordic Swan certified, more "green" manufacturing: limitation of energy and waste consumption, use of healthy raw materials and respectful, no use of PVC or lotion.

 FSC label cellulose from sustainable forestry.

 Chlorine free label totally chlorine free

 Chlorine free elemental chlorine free

product with bio-based content and composed of renewable materials (certification provided by the independent Vincotte institute)

product elected best eco product by a jury of 100 consumers

And finally a comparative table of the best disposable diapers:

 Comparative disposable diapers

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