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Question from Liv

I just bought many organic cloth diapers. It has a tag that states: Outer 100% polyester, Inner 100% organic cotton.

However, now I know that PUL is considered not safe for babies. I wonder how it is transferred to the baby. I mean, is it by outgassing? They don’t smell bad and besides, for maximum absorbency they recommend to wash them 5 times prior to use. Is it by leaching?

If the PUL is not next to my baby skin, is it still harmful? The diaper is the organic BumGenius cloth diaper. I cannot afford replacing them to just organic cotton diaper! I have also read that since the polyurethane is veeery thin it is not really harmful and they even mention PUL is breathable. Is that correct? By the way, I didn’t read that in BumGenius page but in some other webpages I found browsing.


Debra’s Answer

First of all, polyester is not PUL. So if the label says polyester and organic cotton, that’s not PUL.

PUL is Polyurethane Laminate (read more about it at Q&A:Information on PUL fabric.

Soft plastics outgas, so baby can breathe the fumes and they can be absorbed through the skin. If the plastic is toxic, they are breathing and absorbing toxic fumes. However, again, polyester is not PUL.

Polyester itself has a fairly low toxicity, however, all polyester fabrics are treated with a formaldehyde resin that does not wash out. Since polyester is not waterproof, I’m not sure why they are using it with organic cotton.

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