What do car tires, petroleum refineries, nail polish remover and feminine pads all have in common? According to independent testing of pads, these things all could contain toxic chemicals with potential links to health harm. It’s a given we’d find industrial grade chemicals in heavy industry, and we know to be careful of the acetone in nail polish remover. But something down there, touching our most intimate parts — why would we have to worry about toxic chemicals on feminine pads?
National nonprofit Women’s Voices for the Earth has revealed that a laboratory analysis of Always brand pads indicates toxic chemicals emitted from scented, unscented and Infinity versions. Here’s what the analysis of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds found:
Styrene – human carcinogen
Chloromethane – reproductive toxicant
Chloroethane – carcinogen
Chloroform – carcinogen, reproductive toxicant, neurotoxin
Acetone – irritant
As you might have guessed, these ingredients are not listed on the Always box. Because pads and tampons are categorized as medical devices, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t even require ingredient disclosure in the same way as it can with cosmetics.
“Millions of women use these products on a monthly basis on an exceptionally sensitive and absorptive part of the body, ” said WVE’s director of science and research, Alexander Scranton. “Toxic chemicals like these have no place in a product meant to support women’s health. At the very least, disclosure of the ingredients used in these products is necessary so that women can have the information they need to make safe choices to protect their reproductive health.”
WVE and at least 21,000 others have joined via petition asking P & G to list all ingredients and remove toxic chemicals from its products. Flour Sack Mama has contacted P & G for comment and will update with that if there is a response. Consumer advocate Andrea Donsky has also been calling for ingredient disclosure of these products for several months.
Women’s health doesn’t get any more personal than this. If you’re also a mother advising adolescent girls on first products to use with their bodies during that vulnerable time of development, you’ll want to watch this issue closely.
If you would like to add your voice in asking for full ingredient disclosure on feminine products, you can take action here with WVE.
Want to ask WVE more about this shocking lab report? Ask about this and more on October 23, 9 pm Eastern during a special Strong, not Scared #CleanCouponing Twitter party. Details and RSVP here.
Stay connected with the latest that the Flour Sack Mama and Clean Couponing blogs can bring you via weekly newsletter!