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By Dr. Alan Greene, M.D.www.drgreene.comAs a father and pediatrician, I’ve changed many diapers—enough to teach me that diapers are a daily reminder that as humans we deplete resources as we consume, and we make messes with our waste.
At least when I put a cloth diaper on my child, I don't have to worry about what chemicals and toxin are up against her body. Have you ever cut open an un-used disposable? Scary stuff! Disposables contain Dioxin, a cancer-causing chemical listed by the EPA. It's banned in most countries. And those little gel beads in them contain polyacrylate, which was linked to TTS and tampon use in the 80's.
Given that Dr. Greene is associated with 7th Generation (who makes disposable diapers), I'm not surprised with his conclusion, and I believe his opinion is likely biased.
I can't imagine disposables are equal to cloth. Even if manufacturing were equal, and energy expenditure were equal for one child, cloth can be used over and over again. Our newborn organic unbleached prefolds have been passed around my mommy group and used on 3 singletons and twins.
Also, I don't know a family who uses disposables and takes the time to flush fecal material down the toilet. Most don't even know you're not allowed to send poop to the landfill.