this article. The article discusses some of the biggest health concerns I've heard. The same use of harmful chemicals in tampons long ago is present in disposable diapers, but the article disputes this concern with the fact that tampons were inserted in the body whereas diaper are not. Since I'm having a boy, I was concerned when I heard about the German study that found scrotum temperatures to be higher in boys who wore disposables, which kills the sperm. However, Web MD says that another study was done two years later that shows the temperatures were the same. Additionally, dioxin (or a type of bleach) is present in most disposable diapers to make them white, so Web MD whisks away this worry by saying that parents can choose to buy chlorine-free diapers. The article fails to mention that dioxin is also known to cause cancer and is banned in most other countries, but Michelle Alsoop addresses that in her article about dioxin elimination.
Personally, I don't think Web MD's counter-arguments are very strong. Despite the fact that diapers aren't inserted in the baby and you can choose chlorine-free diapers, there's a host of other chemicals in disposables. Plus how can we be sure that the same tampon chemical really isn't harmful? What if parents don't know dioxin is present in disposables? Lastly, how could one study show differences in scrotum temperatures and one doesn't? It seems there are some major discrepancies here.
Unfortunately, there are a host of other things to be concerned about regarding disposables. In an article from CBC News, it says, "Diapers contain a variety of plastics, adhesives, glues, elastics and lubricants, some of which can cause irritation." The article also explains that diaper-making companies are self-regulated, meaning they have to check for themselves to make sure they're meeting diaper regulations. What a joke!! They also don't have to list all of the ingredients in their diapers, and many companies only list one ingredient while there's a long list of other things in them. According to the article, some diapers may have chemicals in them that are known to cause irritations, more serious skin problems, and respiratory problems.
My conclusion is I know what's in a cloth diaper, uh, cloth, which is more safe than taking a gamble with disposables. It seems there's no incredibly conclusive evidence on the harmful effects of disposables, but there are a lot of big concerns. I'd rather not risk those concerns.