It is amazing that this is actually a “thing”. The fact that in 2017, U.S. women are forced to use products in which the ingredients–including several chemicals that have been shown to be toxic–without even having access to that information is shocking. And that it takes an act of congress to force big corporations to list the ingredients on the packaging so that female consumers can make informed choices is even more disturbing.
After posting several research report findings on the potential dangers of feminine care product chemicals over the past few years and hoping that female readers would share that information with friends, family and colleagues, we may be closer to having a solution far better than relying simply on peer-to-peer communications. Representatives Grace Meng (D–New York) and Carolyn Maloney (D–New York) have recently reintroduced ‘The Menstrual Products Right to Know Act’ (HR 2416) in the House of Representatives…
US considering measure on menstrual products ingredient disclosure
The US Congress is considering a bill that would require labeling of ingredients in menstrual products.
Like a similar measure presented last session, it would seek to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem as misbranded any menstrual product that does not bear a label listing the name of each ingredient or component, in order of predominance.
“Consumers are being denied access to crucial information that affects their safety and enables them to make informed choices. The bill – which would cover menstrual cups, pads and tampons; therapeutic vaginal douche apparatuses; and obstetrical and gynecological devices – would finally change that.”
– Grace Meng (D–New York)
New York Times
Have you ever wondered what chemicals and other ingredients are in your tampons?
The answer typically is not on the label. Unlike candy bars, frozen dinners and eye shadow, tampons and menstrual pads are not required to carry a list of ingredients.
Instead, many tampon makers give a suggested ingredient list saying their product “may” contain cotton or rayon or polyester, or possibly a combination of them. And many sanitary pads, don’t list any ingredients at all on the package, though companies may offer information on their websites, noting that the pads contain materials like “absorbent wood cellulose” and polyolefin, a chemical compound.
Now a vocal group of health activists focused on “menstrual equity” are calling for new rules to force companies to disclose the chemicals and materials used to manufacture feminine care products…
Earlier this month, Representative Grace Meng, Democrat of New York, introduced a bill called the Menstrual Products Right to Know Act, which would require menstrual hygiene products — including tampons, pads, and menstrual cups – to list their ingredients on the package.
On Tuesday, members of Women’s Voices for the Earth, a nonprofit organization whose 2013 report “Chem Fatale,” focused on toxic chemicals in feminine care products, rallied in Washington to express their support for the proposed legislation.
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, another Democrat from New York, also has reintroduced a bill directing the National Institutes of Health to do research to determine whether chemicals used in feminine hygiene products pose health risks. The bill, which Ms. Maloney is introducing for the 10th time, has never moved out of committee. The prospects for both bills most likely are dim, given the complicated legislative agenda and divisive political climate…
“We want women to be able to know what chemicals are in these products, which come in direct contact with our bodies.”
–Representative Grace Meng, Democrat of New York
The Food and Drug Administration regulates menstrual hygiene products as medical devices, a category that also includes dental floss and condoms. The agency recommends manufacturers provide general information on the label about the material composition of the product – such as whether the product is made of cotton or rayon — but does not require the individual ingredients…Disclosure of ingredients in pads and tampons right now is entirely voluntary.
One longtime concern about menstrual products has been whether the process of purifying or bleaching cotton and rayon with chlorine compounds may leave worrisome traces of toxic dioxins behind. Some research in nonhuman primates has linked exposure to dioxins to endometriosis.
But several other studies of dioxin content in different brands of tampons and disposable diapers found no evidence of the most toxic dioxin. The F.D.A. has also analyzed dioxin content in tampons and determined that for the average woman, the typical monthly exposure from tampons does not exceed tolerable levels set by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives, though the amounts that were detected varied between tampon brands and types…
Another concern is pesticide residue in nonorganic cotton. Since cotton is not a food crop, it is often treated heavily with pesticides…
Solution: Stick to organic feminine care products. They are available for all budgets: