Cloth diapers are soft on your baby’s bum and the environment—but even the most eco-conscious products have an impact. Most cloth diapers consist primarily of cotton, and growing cotton is a very resource-intensive process. Those fluffy white cotton bolls may look clean, but growing them can be dirty business. Insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, defoliants, fertilizer, and lots of water are used to grow conventional cotton. Conventional cotton uses more insecticides—the most hazardous chemicals to human health—than any other single crop. Aldicarb, parathion, and methamidopho, three of the most acutely hazardous insecticides, are still commonly used in cotton production. Farmers applying these chemicals and even bystanders on adjacent fields have suffered from poisoning. After cotton is picked from the field and arrives at the mill, toxic dyes and chemical bleaches are applied during processing. The chemicals used for growing and processing cotton poison the soil, air and ground water, and have been associated with higher incidence of cancer and birth defects in both humans and wildlife.