Health concerns with fleece?

Discussion in 'Super Crunch' started by LamazeMama, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. LamazeMama

    LamazeMama New Member

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    Can anyone help me out with this one? There was some discussion on other boards about health concerns in regards to fleece. Does anyone know if there are any reputable links or information on this?

    I just love Fuzzi Bunz diapers, but I worry everytime I use them. Is there any reason to worry? Should I just enjoy them? :juggle:
  2. Tiffany

    Tiffany Amity's Focus Member

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    Maybe the concern is that fleece is not "natural", but synthetic? Fleece is usually polyester, though some fleece is made from recycled 2 liter soda bottles. HTH!

    I felt weird using fleece liners (ones made with Malden Mills polartec) when I CD'd b/c the main reason I used cloth was to keep synthetics away from my boys' skin, but alas the liners really did keep them dry at night.
  3. Ariadne Umbrell

    Ariadne Umbrell New Member

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    The usual concerns about fabric and such :
    1.Lint- flying throught the air, breathed in. Usually only a spinning mill, usually cotton.

    2. Dyes- what are they made of? Is it absorbed into the skin, at all, ever.Dyes can be made of poisonous metals, for instance. The parts that make them beautiful are what makes them poisonous, ironically enough. This is why old Fiesta Ware is only for decoration, not for eating.

    This is not usually a problem with modern fabrics, and, honestly, when it was a problem, it was a problem for the manufacturer/workers, not the consumers. And, mostly not with man made fibers- the dye is made an intrinsic part of the fiber.

    Really, this has not been a problem since Queen Victoria's era. Aniline dyes are cheaper and safer than natural dyes.

    3. Fiber migration- you'd see the fabric fraying, or not even really being a fabric- say a "super- absorbent tampon."

    4. Fabric breakdown- you'd see it in the wash. Again, would it be some weird skin reaction, or some reaction with the ammonia in urine? Things like that- it would be noticeable.

    Fuzzibunz don't have any of the problems listed above, so I really wouldn't worry. I wouldn't wear a fuzzy tampon, but that is a product lodged in a mucus membrane in the presence of free blood- a recipe for disaster, no matter what.

    Does any of this help, or is it too vague?

    ari
  4. dr.j

    dr.j New Member

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    I always found that my DS' skin felt much hotter in fleece than in natural fabrics. I didn't use it for long, because my DS got bad rashes from it. I don't remember reading anything about fleece being bad, but have always kind of wondered, since my DS reacted so badly to it.
    I'm interested to see what other people have to say.
  5. crazyestonian

    crazyestonian New Member

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    In my country, Estonia, people do not use fleece things (clothes, blankets) for little kids almost at all. The reason being that fleece does not breathe. Yeah, I know that supposedly some fancy fleece is supposed to breathe but try comparing it to cotton or wool -- it is just not the same..

    I personally can´t understand how some parents can use fleece sleepers -- little kids are not too good with their thermoregulation and they can get really hot and uncomfortable ( I have heat regulation issues myself and fleece is practiaclly a no-no for me, I can manage only a jacket if I keep the front zipper open, otherwise my body cannot adjust its temperature and I get uncomfortable).

    That said, I have considered getting a couple of fuzzy bunz for my baby, don´t know if I will yet though.

    --anu
  6. mamabear

    mamabear ~*~smile~*~

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    I sewed, used on my babes, and sold polar fleece diaper covers for six years. I have a child who cannot wear FOE next to her skin because she will break out in a red welt. She had no problem with polar fleece.

    Anu, no way is polar fleece the same as the hot nasty poly fleece that blanket sleepers are made out of.

    Polarfleece is actually a high-tech material that's made for sports and outdoor activities like hiking & camping. It's made to wick moisture from the body, cool the person off when needed & keep them warm when needed, and it definitely breathes.

    It is similar to wool. Do I prefer wool and cotton? Yes, sometimes. But sometimes, be it for diaper covers or pants for hiking or a jacket, I really prefer polar fleece. It's light, comfy and soft, and easy to clean.

    It is made of petroleum products. So are soda bottles. It is made of recycled soda bottles sometimes, but still petroleum then. So is the computer you are typing on, so are many many things throughout our lives. Everything plastic. To me, polar fleece is one of these types of products that I really like and enjoy.

    I never used fleece liners next to my baby's genitals, personally. I only made them occasionally when people really wanted me to. I don't like the idea, because it is polyester and because it seems extra warm and not very comfy to me. Just a personal preference thing, I think. But as a diaper cover, with the cuffs next to the skin? That seems fine to me as long as the child doesn't have an allergic reaction - which can happen with any fabric.

    I have researched the heck out of it, since it was my business. I have never found any reputable links or reports linking polar fleece to any sorts of health issues whatsoever.

    ETA: I have used them in Alaska and in Florida, in -50 F and 100 F, and all temps in between. They have always kept my kids comfy, never too hot. Never nearly as hot as PUL or anything like that! I find them comparable to wool in this regard; perhaps just a touch less cool in the heat, but to me that was fine for the easy care they allow...wool is a PITA to me sometimes, esp when outside a lot and dirt and such would get on the soakers.
  7. Ariadne Umbrell

    Ariadne Umbrell New Member

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    wicking fabrics are spun with a lumen: a tube running through the middle. The water literally has a drain tube. Cotton has one, for instance.

    Mercerizing cotton narrows the lumen. Also, water comes in and forms chemical bonds with the water- that's why you steam whenyou iron, instead of just ironing. Wool also absorbs water- that "wet dog" smell is a sulphur bond breaking open.

    Fleece: spun by people, with different formulae, and different physical characteristics- some have a lumen, some are finer spun than hair, some are crimped, some are thick, some have smooth outer cores, some don't. In general, they are oleophilic, rather than hydrophilic- they abosrb and keep oil, not water. Which means eventually they all get that nasty seventies polyester bowling shirt funk. Also, that's why they make good diapers- (diapers aren't oily), and wretched tee- shirts ( pizza, spaghetti, egg rolls, armpit sweat). And also why nobody in their right mind buys tailored goods made from poly/fleece.acrylic/vinyl fabrics- they won't last ten to fifty years like a good wool suit would.

    Are you assuming baked 'nads, or migrating fibers? I can't vouch for the overheated parts, but for fibers- don't buy cheap fabric, of any sort.

    ari
  8. arasmama

    arasmama instigator

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    We use polar fleece occasionally, but only as an outerlayer, always with a natural fiber next to the skin for breathability. I never used FB because I don't like the thought of polar fleece next to the skin, especially in an area that is already fairly warm as it has multiple layers on it. They found the boys that wore disposies had lower sperm counts, they think it is from them being overheated for 2 years (give or take). To me, JMHO of course, this could be the same with fleece on your crotch constantly.

    Lauren, I think a regular fleece cover is different. It is going over a natural fiber (very thick) barrier that is allowing your skin to breath. FBs are a layer of fleece, then diaper, then another layer of fleece. Sounds sweaty to me.
  9. crazyestonian

    crazyestonian New Member

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    Mamabear, I see what you´re saying but my experience with polar fleece says that it doesn´t breathe. My dh has some very expensive sports fleece stuff from when he tried mountain climbing. I tried wearing it and I just get hot and stuffy while somehow he is fine. I´ve tried fleece in really cold weather too, -20 to -30 degrees celcius (don´t know in fahrenheit) and it just never worked for me. But then I have sensitive skin issues, atopic dermatitis and I can´t regulate my body heat as well as other people (I get cold and hot really easily, for example in the summer I have to bring a sweater to go to air-conditioned store even if it is just for 5 minutes in there). Wool somehow works for me, even in the summer. Also I have always just washed my wool stuff in the washing mashine even though some of it says dry clean only, so fabric care issues are nonexistant.

    I don´t have problem with it being made of petroleum products (once you find out how much pesticides go into cotton it doesn´t seem so bad..)
    But that is just my experience, lots of people tell me I´m weird, lol
  10. mamabear

    mamabear ~*~smile~*~

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    Sorry, I didn't mean to validate your experience. I think everyone's different in terms of their tolerance for different fabrics.

    And like Allison we always use it with cotton underneath. It definitely gets sweaty-feeling without that. And Allison, I totally agree. I feel exactly the same way about pocket dipes and fleece liners.
  11. LamazeMama

    LamazeMama New Member

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    Okay, so my concern about fleece is definitely the heat issue since I have boys.....but also because I recently saw an article (sure wish I could find it now) that had to do with the dangers of teflon and Polartec fleece. Apparently Polartec fleece is sprayed with chemicals to help it with it's wicking properties. These chemicals are being investigated because there are some claims that it is carcinogenic and remains in the body for up to 2 years.

    That scared the crap out of me!

    Anyone else read that article? I sure wish I could find it.............
  12. hayarizu

    hayarizu Craft-o-holic

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    Both of my DDs were alergic to it. Nothing beats wool covers IMHO.

    Liz Hayashi
  13. mudcreekmama

    mudcreekmama New Member

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    I know this is an old thread but the real issue is while you've been given protection from phthalates in toys in recent years polar fleece is full of it! Broke my heart to read the damage done by polar fleece dryer lint, and yup I loved my fuzzi bunz while making sure every toy my child mouthed was organic cotton, wool, low impact dyed silk or wood - but there it is. Its toxic and an endocrine disruptor and I was wrapping my baby's butt in it 24 hours a day.
  14. Ifluffedthree

    Ifluffedthree New Member

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    This is a good thread with lots of good info. Typically I am in the class of we don't like things made, but rather grown. Petroleum based synthetic fabrics and our bits just don't seemingly make a good pair for us. I had to laugh, recently my boys and I are shopping for beddings for their first independent rooms, they insisted on 100% cotton (which I welcomed). When asked why, Ian my younges says......for camp you bought us a pair of shorts for sleeping in that were polyester, after being washed the polyester "smells like butt". So we are in the all natural camp here. Even though butt is cheaper for us to buy.
  15. ChantingMama

    ChantingMama The Divine Miss M

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    Nothing real to add to the convo, but GOSH I miss Ariadne Umbrell's contributions to conversations!!

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