Gel Balls in Disposable Diapers

What are those little gel balls that come out of the diapers?

Those gel balls that parents often find on their baby’s skin (sometimes even inside their little girls’ vaginal openings) during the diaper change is a chemical called sodium polyacrylate. They are the substance in disposable diapers that allow them to absorb so much urine and stay so trim while dry.  It’s a fantastic idea… Except that you’re supposed to keep sodium polyacrylate away from skin. In fact, when it comes into contact with skin, most of the manufacturers of this chemical recommend you flush the skin with water for fifteen minutes.

Don’t believe me?

I happened to find a few Material Safety Data Sheets from various chemical labs for sodium polyacrylate in PDF format online. Have a look for yourself. Read how implicit the directions are to keep sodium polyacrylate off of skin. Maybe it won’t make a difference to you. It really won’t bother me if people are not as concerned as I am about the regular use of this chemical against a child’s skin. What will bother me though is if the people that read this blog are complacent enough in Consumer Land to read the Material Safety Data Sheets for themselves:


“If it wasn’t OK for our babies, they’d pull ______   from the shelves.”

We hear that phrase all the time regarding:

  • children’s medicines
  • artificial food coloring
  • baby formula
  • genetically modified food
  • disposable diapers

I think the thing to keep in mind is “OK” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Our children matter. Complacency is unacceptable. It is our duty to keep our children safe. Please make your own decision. I will respect your choice, (Yes, even if it’s to use disposables) provided it’s an informed one.

One comment

  1. Heather Pierson

    Such a good point about respecting people’s decisions as long as it’s an informed one. It is easy to assume just because it’s on the shelf it’s safe sad thing is alot people won’t believe that is might not be until it’s too late and they find out the hard way like meat from factory farms that everyone assumes is safe…until that meat gets recalled.

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