When I started this blog, my daughter was a toddler. Now she is a teenager.
Whether you are buying feminine products for yourself or your daughters, it is important to be informed of what products are safe and non-toxic.
I always buy maxi pads from either Seventh Generation or Natracare, but I have bought Always brand in a pinch when traveling or in the mountains. Given new information from Women’s Voices of the Earth (WVE), I will never do that again!
According to WVE:
The results of the testing indicate that both scented and unscented Always pads emit toxic chemicals, including chemicals identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the State of California Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, and reproductive and developmental toxins. None of these chemicals are disclosed on the product by the manufacturer.
Procter & Gamble does not disclose the identity of the materials used to manufacture its menstrual pads. Thus it remains unclear which components of the pad may be the source of the volatile toxic emissions. The testing results demonstrate the need for more testing of these products to better characterize the chemical exposures and to better understand the potential health impacts of those exposures…
The Always menstrual pads were found to contain several chemicals of concern, including the following:
Chloromethane: reproductive toxicant
Chloroform: carcinogen, reproductive toxicant, neurotoxin
We live in such a chemically-ladened world, and it is very concerning to me that mainstream companies take toxic exposure lightly. As WVE has provided a letter to Proctor & Gamble you can take action and send. Here is an excerpt:
The test results conducted by Women’s Voices for the Earth revealed a number of toxic chemicals are released from Always pads. Additionally, research shows that hazardous ingredients in tampons and pads may include dioxins and furans (from the bleaching process), pesticide residues, adhesive chemicals such as methyldibromo glutaronitrile (in pads), and unknown fragrance chemicals. Exposure concerns include cancer, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, allergic rash.
It is concerning that Procter & Gamble’s master list of fragrance ingredients includes harmful chemicals like styrene, pyridine and methyleugenol, which have been linked cancer; and synthetic musks like galaxolide and tonalide, which are potential hormone disruptors that are also linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Without full disclosure of fragrance ingredients in tampons and pads, I do not have the information I need to protect myself from these harmful chemicals.
I am particularly concerned about harmful chemicals in feminine care products because studies show that chemicals absorbed through the vagina are easily and effectively distributed throughout the body, without first being metabolized. Studies show that mucous membranes in and around the vagina are much more absorptive than other skin on our bodies.
Before I became eco-aware, I used Always products regularly. Although many people have now embraced organic food, natural feminine care products are not as easily available in large, conventional grocery chains. Please spread the word that Always products are toxic and send a message to Proctor & Gamble, even if you don’t buy their products. We must work to keep all women and girls healthy!
Thank you so much for writing about this issue! These results show that we need more research on toxic chemicals in feminine care products – and first, we need people actually talking about it!