Before you bag the next sanitary product on the shelf, you might want to think twice. The hard truth is that you are just about to purchase a toxic concoction of plastic, synthetic materials, chemicals, and bleach that can pose serious health risks to your lady parts. And where is the evidence on the product that might suggest such? Because of an FDA loophole that calls feminine hygiene products ‘medical devices’, manufacturers are not required to disclose all the ingredients they contain. Thus, you will usually find no trace of the following ingredients:
Most conventional feminine hygiene products are made from over 90% petroleum-based plastic. Two hazardous chemicals are normally found in plastic: bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. BPA has been linked to hormonal disruption, cancer, and heart disease. Phthalates, which is used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic, have been linked to hormonal disruption and gene expression disregulation.
Pesticides and GMO:
Traditional feminine care is typically made of wood pulp or in some cases, cotton. Wood pulp is from trees that are grown for being cut down and used as fluff. The cotton is most likely genetically modified or treated with numerous pesticides, many of which are suspected human carcinogens.
Ever wonder why feminine hygiene products are so bright white? To achieve that pure white color, manufacturers chlorine bleaches the wood pulp in pads. A byproduct that forms from this bleaching process is dioxins. Dioxins have been linked to reproductive and developmental problems, hormonal imbalance, cancer, and immune system damage. While governmental agencies believe that ‘trace amounts’ of dioxins are acceptable and safe to the human body, wouldn’t the amount add up when the average woman uses between 16,000 and 24,000 pads in her lifetime?
Pads and tampons can contain a chemical soup of odor neutralizers, fragrances, artificial colors, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene and propylene glycol (PEG). All such ingredients have been linked to hormonal disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility.
We all know that skin is our bodies’ largest organ. It is also the thinnest and most permeable organ. Just as how we should be conscious of what we put in our mouths, we should be conscious what we apply to our skin.
Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives on the market that will not let these elements leach into our bloodstream. A good place to start is biodegradable pads or organic disposable pads like Saathi, Purganics, and Natracare. One can also consider reusable pads or cups like Saukhyam, Ecofemme or DivaCups. In any case, let’s all be kinder to our bodies and choose the sustainable route.