What’s Really in Those Sanitary Pads and Tampons?
In the featured article, Andrea Donsky, founder of Naturally Savvy and co-author of Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart, reveals how little we’re told about the materials in feminine products. In fact, tampon and sanitary pad manufacturers aren’t required to disclose ingredients because feminine hygiene products are considered “medical devices.”
When Andrea called Procter & Gamble directly to discover the contents in their Always Infinity pads, the service reps could only mention two: foam and a patented ingredient called Infinicel — a highly absorbent material able to hold up to 10 times its weight.
This video demonstrates what happens when an organic vs. conventional sanitary pad is burned. The 100 percent organic cotton pad, made by Natracare, burns slow and clean, leaving virtually no sooty residue. But the Always Infinity pad with its mostly undisclosed ingredients creates black smoke and thick residue, indicating the pad may contain dioxins, synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives.
In fact, conventional sanitary pads can contain the equivalent of about four plastic bags! With everything we now know about the hazardous nature of plastic chemicals, this alone is cause for concern.
For example, plasticizing chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development. They’re linked to heart disease and cancer. Phthalates, which give paper tampon applicators a smooth finish, are known to disregulate gene expression, and DEHP may lead to multiple organ damage. Synthetics and plastic restrict air flow and trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting yeast and bacteria growth in your vaginal area. Besides crude oil plastics, conventional sanitary pads can also contain other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odor neutralizers and fragrances.
The Price You Pay for “Clean” White Tampons and Pads
How do tampons and pads get that ultra-white “clean” look? Usually chlorine bleach, which can create toxic dioxin and other disinfection by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethane. Studies show dioxin collects in your fatty tissues. According to an EPA draft report, dioxin is a serious public health threat that has no “safe” level of exposure! Published reports show that even trace dioxin levels may be linked to:
• Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
• Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
• Immune system suppression
• Hormonal and endocrine system disruption
Meanwhile, the FDA’s official stance is that no expected health risks are associated with trace amounts of dioxins in tampons.
Naturally Savvy notes that 10 years ago, House Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation requiring research into the potential health risks of feminine hygiene product use, including cervical, ovary and breast cancers and endometriosis. Unfortunately, the legislation failed to pass, and it doesn’t appear there’s been any research.
You can find the entire article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/feminine-hygiene-products_b_3359581.html