How Long Does It Take For Disposable Diapers To Decompose
There are a lot of materials that make up the list of the worst offenders in the environment. Sad to say, almost every material that we use in our daily living, especially in our household, make up a great number of them. But one of the most common items is diapers. Although this invention has significantly changed our lives, because of its negative impact in terms of decomposing, we need to know how long does it take for disposable diapers to decompose. They contribute real problems in waste, and that's surely bad news for Mother Nature.
Diapers: Digging Its Decomposition Details
Before we get to know how long does it take for disposable diapers to decompose, let us learn what decomposing means:
- When a material or an item undergoes a process whereby it breaks down into its chemical building blocks and goes back to the soil to be reused by nature, decomposing happens. Decomposition is a natural process that even humans will undergo as we all go back to nature sooner or later. All things will be naturally reused and recycled by nature. However, as science and technology developed and enhanced man's ways of living, industrial development presented problems.
- The development, manufacturing, and usage of materials that are hard to decompose mean that many things will take a long time to decompose. Sometimes these materials may leave behind toxic poison, or both may happen. Plastics and diapers are two examples to cite.
- Many of the things that we use for personal and household necessities are also very hard for nature to reabsorb. To be specific, knowing how long does it take for disposable diapers to decompose will tell you that an average of more than two percent of the world's landfills is made up of them.
What Are Landfills?
Landfills are the most common cause of climate change as they are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Regarding disposable diapers as waste materials, they result in the release of excessive amounts of methane. We all know that methane has explosive and flammable properties when they reach high concentrations. As methane is released into the air, the oxygen that we need the most is replaced. That makes the earth unhealthy and a toxic place to live in.
What Are the Functions of Disposable Diapers?
If you want to know if the diaper you are using functions well, you may want to ask your family members or friends for reviews about which diaper sold in the market works best. Diapers are made and designed to hold feces and urine. The best diapers are ones that don't worry about leakage, especially for overnight and travel uses. Being keen on the design of the diapers should be considered.
Long term exposure to chemicals brings unhealthy adverse effects. Disposable diapers contain dyes and dioxin that are by-products of chlorine bleaching. Dioxin is a carcinogen that, when released in the environment, easily harm humans and animals.
Sodium Polyacrylates (SPAs) in Disposable Diapers
Sodium Polyacrylates place the use of disposable diapers as hazardous. This is a chemical added to the diapers' inner pads that make it super absorbent that's why when the diapers get wet, this chemical in the form of powder turns into a gel. Another sad news, even diapers that are labeled as eco-friendly ones contain this chemical. Sodium Polyacrylates can:
- cause allergic reactions to babies' skin as they stick easily on it
- result in skin irritations that might cause your baby to vomit and have a fever
- be fatal when ingested by children even in small amounts of it (5 grams)
As disposable diapers have lots of harmful chemicals into it and used it for your baby, about almost 50 chemicals may be absorbed into your baby's skin. Your baby may use an average of 7000 diapers before he/she is potty trained.
How Long Does It Take for Disposable Diapers to Decompose?
If you wonder how long does it take for disposable diapers to decompose, you must know that for decomposition to occur, they must be exposed to enough sunlight and oxygen. Since used diapers that go to the waste are placed in landfills, they do not decompose well. Why? Because it would take almost more than 500 years for them to decompose. To make it worse, millions of tons are thrown and added to landfills annually. The result needs special attention feces that may leak out the diapers and contaminate community water sources.
Why Use Biodegradable Diapers?
Aside from being eco-friendly, the following are reasons why biodegradable diapers are your next choice:
- They are perfume-free
- They do not contain chlorine
- They are free from latex
- No dyes are added into it
As we learn that diapers rank as the third-largest source of household waste, knowing how long does it take for disposable diapers to decompose is an eye-opener for us humans. We need to be wise in choosing the products that we use. Saving your baby from the harmful effects of disposable diapers and saving Mother Earth through responsible use diapers lies in every parent's hands.
August 25, 2020
By: Alicia Davis
One of the most challenging situations parents have to face every day is changing diapers. Cleaning would be a daily task for them, and it is costly.