Nano-technology and baby – bamboo charcoal inserts

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Charcoal inserts - are they well researched?

I prefer regular bamboo over charcoal bamboo due to “potential” concerns… But I’m like that!

Nano-technology sounds advanced, right? It also may sound a bit scary – especially if you’ve heard a bit about the potential risks. Heck some people are just afraid of science! I’ve delayed making this post for a while because I’m not sure that I can make an entire opinion because I refuse to buy into nano-technology in cloth diapers. What’s that? Yes, charcoal bamboo inserts is nano-technology. Charcoal inserts are popular but are they okay?

I’ve posted before about some of the reasons I’m against the “cheap” cloth diapers. Yes, I’ve purchased them and that is where I formed my opinion. I thought I was saving money but really, quality is worth both the money AND it is a more conscientious decision for me. I just really *feel* bad about buying knock-off diapers. No return policy, no support and the fact that I’m doing nothing for the economy just get to me.

Charcoal inserts or regular inserts?

In the same breath of cheap cloth diapers we find charcoal bamboo since both come from “co-op” and group buys and not usually from WAHM boutiques or other stores. Not that I think everything has to come from a store, but I’m wondering why, if it is so good, hasn’t it been picked up by any of the regular cloth diaper manufacturers or any of the top 10-15 cloth diaper online stores (yes I looked them each up).

What is charcoal bamboo?

Charcoal bamboo uses the bamboo plant and heats it to such a point that it turns into charcoal. It is then ground and embedded into rayon into yarn.

According to an importer’s website, they indicate: “based on existing document, there are two main ways to produce bamboo charcoal fiber: the first way is to add nano-bamboo charcoal powder during the process of spinning in the spinning solution; the second is to add the established bamboo charcoal composite polymer master-batch in the stage of synthesising fiber.”

So basically what happens in between there? The particles are so small (hence nano technology) and when we put them into diapers, HOW much is being absorbed and can they really ever get clean? I hear a lot of complaints that people can’t get their bamboo charcoal inserts clean.

Then, when it comes to nanto technology you are talking about particles 1-100 nm long – as in very not long. Very not big. All inserts get some pilling and those pills fall off – even if bamboo charcoal has anti-pilling properties, this stuff is “good” for absorbing radiation, . Do those then make their way on to our bodies? If baby has a rash could the particles enter the body? There’s also risk of pulmonary disease (potentially, it hasn’t been ruled out) for those who are involved in production. The particles are too small to filter out. Here’s an article that discusses some concerns of nanotechnology.

Too many questions – too few answers

There are too many open questions for me to be okay with nanotechnology-based cloth diaper inserts. Until we know more about the technology, I can’t say I’m okay with charcoal bamboo inserts.

 

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About the Author:

Attached Moms main writer, Amanda, is a full-time mom transitioning from her full-time work life. She's mom to V who just turned 6, and 3 year old R. With an inter-cultural relationship, she's attempting to navigate parenting, using her heart, not just her 'book' knowledge. She's earned a BS in Social Sciences, BA in technical communications and has three master's degrees: business, education and psychology. From Michigan originally, she currently resides in the Mumbai, India vicinity.

23 Comments on "Nano-technology and baby – bamboo charcoal inserts"

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  1. Jenny T says:

    If burned food can be carcinogenic, how is burned bamboo any different? I wouldn’t put charcoal anything against my baby’s skin.

  2. Amanda says:

    Fuzzibunz says they use nanotechnology on their packaging of the OS elite diaper.

    I tried to inquire because I am leery of nanotech, but their customer service is comprised of SAHM’s & they gave me a canned response to the effect of how their diapers are very safe…blah blah…blah….

    Could you try to investigate this as well?

  3. Erin S. says:

    We use bamboo inserts but not charcoal bamboo.

  4. Shai Smith says:

    I didn’t even know charcoal bamboo existed! :o

  5. Jon (EcoDad) says:

    As a cloth diapering dad, I’ve never even heard of charcoal bamboo inserts, but am in general a big fan of the breakthroughs that nano-technology is offering the energy storage and renewable energy sectors.

  6. Kelly says:

    I use and make charcoal bamboo inserts as a wahm. I have no issues with the cleaning process of the inserts or with it being against my sons skin. I get more.absorption, no diaper rashes, less washing cycles, and no stinkies. I have had.more problems with the big company inserts. Just wanted to let you know there are a.few of is wahms providing these inserts as a.good since you made a statement that there were none.

    • Attached Moms says:

      thank you for you note. You are welcome to reply with your site in case someone is reading and interested in purchasing.
      I do know some people who really enjoy the fibers and find them useful.
      For me it is the unknown and skin absorpion that we do not see since the fibers spun are so small. You may want to wear a mask while cutting the fibers as chinese workers are apparently getting ill from it but they are around much more of it in a factory environment.

    • What is your site? I’d love to contact you about your inserts.

    • Amanda McMahon says:

      Kelly, congrats on your business venture. I would recommend using a mask while cutting charcoal bamboo due to the health concerns seen in plants in China.

  7. Kristin says:

    I have never heard of this before! I have a friend who researches nano-tech but it seems strange to me to use it in diapers!

  8. Lisa says:

    As Kelly has stated, I have no problems with my charcoal bamboo inserts or my co-op ordered charcoal bamboo lined diapers. They work wonderfully for me and have for the last 9 months. Not to mention they have all held up very beautifully and work far better than any of the pricer diapers I have tried on my baby. I can see the possible concern of nanotechnology… any new technologies are raise for concern to anybody looking to figure out the true details of it and the unknown effects of it on our bodies. I know we only want the best for our children, but we do the best we can with what we have. For me it comes down to what I can afford and, within that realm, what I can get to work best for my child. I find them far better than putting disposables on :)

  9. ClothDiperHolic02 says:

    Amanda,
    Great article! Thanks so much! I now am sure my American made bamboo is best for my little one.

    • Amanda McMahon says:

      Thanks. I do think there are some great qualities to charcoal bamboo, but in a plave where there is a potential for broken skin, I just am not sure of the technology!

  10. ClothDiperHolic02 says:

    Amanda,
    Absolutely! After all one never knows when you go to change a diaper and poof there’s a new rash. :-)

  11. ClothDiperHolic02 says:

    Some may call it silly but I really try to buy American diapers only. My husband fights for our freedom and I don’t always have a choice for buying china products. But with diapers I do. Also I know some will contest my comment because china diapers are cheaper. But of one is truly concerned with money prefolds are always a good option. Plus if I ever have issues with my American diapers I don’t have to worry about calling outside the country or a huge hassle for replacement or returns.

  12. Leslie K says:

    Haha, I thought it just meant that the diapers were charcoal colour to avoid staining lmao. Now i know!

  13. sarah says:

    LOL! Bamboo charcoal eliminates diaper rash! This article is obviously biased based on a bad experience. Why create a controversy over nothing? If you’re upset with your experience, write about that.

    • Amanda McMahon says:

      Actually I have never used it. The issue for me alone is the use of the new techbology when there could be breaks in the skin. Considering the absorption of radiation in charcoal bamboo, I just wouldn’t risk putting it on a baby’s bottom until more research has been done.

  14. Karissa says:

    Hi There,
    I’d just like to note that charcoal is used to filter our drinking water ;).
    I use and sell charcoal bamboo inserts. They work really well and I have never seen any “dust.”

    • Yes charcoal is used as a filter. The issues for health are being seen mostly in the manufacturing process. So those involved at that end are at most risk. Since they’re being made mostly in China there is little protection for the workers. Those who cut the charcoal (say for sewing) should likely wear a mark (though I’m not sure if that’s enough). Because it is NANO technology the particulates are small. As in you won’t always see them.

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