So you've heard there's toxins lurking in your tampons & pads. And your high school chemistry knowledge was replaced with everything you've learned since (like, how to keep yourself alive. Yay, adulthood!). We're here to break it down for you.
Our four part series explores the potentially harmful ingredients in conventional tampons & pads. We’re gonna pass you our class notes on the following:
With some study guides, you’ll be better equipped to choose the best products for your body.
Just a little background info before we get started. Not much research exists on the longterm health impacts of conventional (or organic) menstrual products. And to complicate matters, it's difficult to figure out exactly what's in these products.
That's because current legislation doesn’t require manufacturers to disclose ingredients in tampons or pads. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration classifies them as medical devices, as does the EU General Product Safety Directive. Andrea Donsky of NaturallySaavy says the intent is "to force manufacturers to report adverse health effects to the end user." Unfortunately, without studies on the adverse health effects OR regulatory oversight, the consumer is left in the dark.
Thanks to public pressure, led by women’s health advocacy group Women’s Voices for the Earth, two major manufacturers have begun posting ingredients on their websites. Both Procter & Gamble & Kimberly Clark also now list some ingredients on tampon, but not pad, packaging.
Companies have been asked for even greater content transparency, beyond terms like “fragrance” or “plastic.” Microbiologist Philip Tierno of the NYU School of Medicine says, "Even if they list some ingredients, they may not be listing all of them."
It's up to us as consumers to know the impact that the products we purchase can have on us & our environment. So let's turn a new page, sharpen our pencils & get to researching.