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The Negative Side of 'Diaper Wars'

September 15, 1988

"Diaper Wars" shows a shocking ignorance of the hidden costs and hazards of so-called "disposable" diapers. This is a $3-billion market, heavily promoted by Proctor & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark. Once they are used, 90% to 95% of the 18 billion soiled diapers enter the household trash stream and end up in landfills, creating an immediate public health hazard. Leachate containing viruses from human feces (including live vaccine from routine childhood immunizations) can leak into the earth and pollute underground water supplies.

In addition, flies and other insects can carry airborne viruses, including hepatitis A, Norwalk and Rota virus.

Use of this product wastes nearly 100,000 tons of plastics and 800,000 pounds of wood pulp from trees each year. Add to this the average landfill cost of $27 per ton of material and the average transportation cost to landfills of about $48 per ton and we pay about $350 million annually in the U.S. to get rid of single-use diapers.

It's time people begin to consider the true costs of the "disposable" diaper.

T. SHAPIN,

Orange

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