Sanitary Products “Unknown” Ingredients
Hey ladies, ever wondered what ingredients are in your sanitary products? …Perhaps not, I mean I never used to. As you already know, I’ve been going through my house looking at the ingredients on everything my daughter and I use. However, when I looked at my sanitary products there was no ingredients list to be found, you wanna know why!?
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I found out that there’s no ingredients list because manufacturers of sanitary products are not required to disclose their ingredients. Sanitary products are intended to effect the function of the body, therefore they’re considered to be ‘medical devices’. As a result of this classification, us women have no idea what potential dangers were exposing our most intimate areas to.
Sanitary products and our skin
Our skin is the largest organ in our body as well as the thinnest & less than one tenth of an inch separates our body from potential toxins! Worse still our skin is extremely absorbent, especially the skin in and around the vaginal area. This means that anything that comes into constant contact with your skin will land in your bloodstream and be distributed throughout your body.
Did you know that having chemicals on your skin is worse than digesting them? Enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break down chemicals and flush chemicals from your body. However when chemicals touch your skin, they’re absorbed straight into your bloodstream heading straight to your delicate organs.
Pesticides and Herbicides
Sanitary products are made of cotton and just like other crops, cotton crops are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. A carcinogenic chemical called Furan is present on the cotton and it will stay on there long after it’s been harvested. Imagine having this chemical inside of your body!
The 1999 Tampon Safety and Research Act notes that Dioxin is a byproduct of chlorine-bleaching processes used in the manufacture of paper products including tampons, sanitary pads, panty liners and nappies. They followed this by stating that the chemical could stay in the body for up to 20 years after exposure. The World Health Organisation lists Dioxin as one of the “dirty dozen” which is a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants. I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I say that it is also a known carcinogen.
So you’re probably thinking, why is this chemical present right?
Well It’s all to do with the whiteness of the cotton. Many of us prefer to put on something that is purely white so that we feel as if we are using something fresh and clean but this is to our detriment. As cotton is not naturally white, sanitary towel companies use the chemical Dioxin to bleach the cotton. Based on research, short time exposure to Dioxin can cause skin darkening and altered liver function, but just consider the menstrual lifetime of a woman. We will use approximately 6,000 sanitary pads and 12,000 tampons during this time, many times a day. That’s an awful lot of Dioxin being absorbed through the vagina.
When the chemical accumulates in the body it can cause serious health risks. It is well known for its ability to damage the immune system and interfere with hormonal systems. As well as potentially causing diabetes, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cancer and more.
Of course we all hate the smell of blood. We want to feel as fresh as possible throughout that time in the month. Yet as with most synthetic fragrances, the chemicals added by manufacturers to scented pads have negative implications too. Scented pads aren’t recommended because in many cases they can cause irritation. As well as yeast infections which can lead to other health issues.
Bacterial growth and other infections
Sanitary pads that are made from synthetic materials can cause a blockage of wetness, which in turn encourages bacterial growth. Prolonged use of tampons in a day could cause an overgrowth of staphylococcus aureus bacteria in your vagina. This bacteria may then produce a toxin which can ultimately be released into the blood stream. It’s commonly called Toxic Shock Syndrome, some symptoms being dizziness, diarrhoea and fever.
Although you can get organic and natural tampons, the possibility of TSS is one of the reason why I stopped using them altogether.
Another reason why I stopped using Tampons is because simply inserting a tampon increases your chances of entering poisons into your bloodstream. It is possible to make microscopic tears in the walls of the vagina whilst sliding a tampon into place, which results in rupturing tiny blood vessels. A super absorbent tampon if left in place too long, or if used when the menstrual flow is light, can dry out the vagina and make such tearing even more likely!
If you continue using tampons, (those organic ones I just recommended obviously).. then you can minimise your chances of TSS by:
- Changing your tampon every 4-8 hours.
- Using the lowest absorbency tampon will also lower your risk.
- Alternate with sanitary towels during your period.
- If using a tampon at night, insert a fresh one before going to bed and remove it as soon as you wake up.
Synthetic sanitary products are not only causing harm to our bodies, but the environment too. Did you know that sanitary pads are roughly 90% plastic! The extraction, production, manufacture of plastics releases large amounts of toxic pollution into the environment.
Every year, over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed of somewhere.
Sanitary waste is either incinerated, releasing harmful gasses and toxic waste, or sent to landfill. The plastics used in sanitary pads, liners and tampon applicators do not biodegrade at all. They will remain in the environment unchanged for hundreds of years.
If that’s not enough to think about then I’ll leave you with this…
This video shows shows what happens when an organic vs conventional pad is burned. The 100% Natracare organic cotton pad (which are brilliant might I add, and great value for money compared to the synthetic alternatives) leaves virtually no sooty residue. However the Always Inifinity pad creates black smoke and thick residue…
I know which I’d rather use.
Do any of you use plastic, chemical free feminine products? Please share those brands with others. Or were you oblivious to any of the dangers like I was? Please let me know in the comments below. As always guys, if you enjoyed this post please feel free to share it using the buttons below, Thank you!
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