We live in the age of informed consumerism. With a few clicks, we can find out what ingredients are in the foods we eat and the products we use – but have you ever stopped to consider what’s in your pads and tampons? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, most women haven’t, but it is a bit concerning when you find out what ingredients they contain:
So, you might be thinking to yourself, “Okay, I didn’t think my pads and tampons were made out of wood pulp, but that’s not that weird” or, “Synthetic fibres are just more absorbent so who cares” and, “Okay the last two are a bit concerning, but someone is checking to make sure these products are safe!”.
Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you. The wood pulp is made into the synthetic fibre Rayon by undergoing a manufacturing process by chlorine dioxide bleaching, that process produces dioxin as a chemical byproduct. Now there’s several problems with this. First and foremost, dioxins are a class of chemicals that are well known to be carcinogenic (cancer causing).
“Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.” (WHO, 2016)
Second, all of that doesn’t sound like anything anyone should put near, let alone inside of their body. And third, these companies are not required by the FDA to disclose the ingredients in their products. That means what they have disclosed is likely not all they contain and though they are required by the FDA to monitor the dioxin levels in their finished products, the results are not available to the public (NCHR, 2015). On top of all that – these products are not tested or studied long term to determine their safety or side effects.
Think about it – as a menstruating human you’re likely going to use approximately 10,000 feminine hygiene products for 30 – 40 years of your life. That’s 30 – 40 years of repeated exposure to a product you know very little about.
This is why at ElleBox, we only send you 100% organic cotton feminine hygiene to your door step every month, in time, for your time, every time.
An important caveat is that this is a heavily debated topic of contention online. Some research suggests that the levels of dioxin traceable in traditional feminine hygiene brands is negligible and therefore not a cause for concern.
However, as it stands today, due to the vested interests of a few companies, there isn’t enough empirical evidence to support either sides arguments. What it really comes down to is your informed opinion to make a choice that is right for you and your body – whether that be traditional feminine hygiene, organic feminine hygiene, or reusables – do what’s best for you!
Head over to our friends at Kindara to learn more.