At OK&CO., people often ask us to put a wetness indicator in our nappies. But, have you ever stopped to wonder what kinds of mysterious chemicals are in these wetness indicators? These little indicators are designed to change colour when the nappy is wet, letting you know when it's time for a change. But what kind of sorcery is this? What kinds of chemicals are used to make this happen?
A team of scientists got together to investigate this important question, + the results are in. The wetness indicators contain a dye that changes colour when exposed to moisture. The dye itself is typically made of a combination of acids, such as citric acid, sodium hydroxide, + other materials such as phenol, formaldehyde, + glycerine. Aside from the dye, the indicators are made from a combination of sodium polyacrylate, sodium polyacrylate-based copolymers + polyvinyl alcohol.
These chemicals are all potentially hazardous to children. Formaldehyde + phenol can cause skin, eye, + respiratory irritation as well as organ damage, sodium hydroxide can cause severe skin, eye + respiratory irritation, as well as digestive tract irritation, glycerine can cause vomiting + diarrhea, sodium polyacrylate + sodium polyacrylate-based copolymers can cause skin + eye irritation, as well as respiratory issues, + polyvinyl alcohol can cause skin + respiratory irritation. In addition, all of these chemicals can cause long-term health effects if exposed to over a long period of time.
Now, that's a whole host of nasty, toxic, harmful chemicals right next to your baby's skin for the better part of 24 hours a day, so until we're able to make wetness indicators that are plant based + toxic-free, we won't be adding them to our nappies.
We know you'll understand because, like us, you don't want toxins near your family either.
Yours in eco consciousness,