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Corporations’ ‘Trade Secrets’ Trump Public Health.

Posted February 12th, 2014

Common Dreams

January 31, 2014

Andrea Germanos

New database created to let consumers know if personal care products contain carcinogens, but ‘trade secrets’ claim lets companies skirt transparency.

Corporate power seems to be thwarting the public’s right to know if the personal care products they use contain potentially harmful ingredients. Selsun Blue is one of the products that lists trade secret for an ingredient. As a result of the California Safe Cosmetics Act, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) earlier this month rolled out a searchable database through which consumers could see if their personal care products contain carcinogens or reproductive toxins.

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22 Cosmetics Companies File for ‘Trade Secret’ Status to Skirt Toxins Law.

Posted February 5th, 2014

Eco Watch

January 30, 2014

Twenty-two companies have requested trade secret status to avoid telling the public about toxic chemicals found in nearly 1,500 cosmetic products included in the new California Safe Cosmetics Program Database. The database was released earlier this month as part of the state’s Safe Cosmetics Act, which requires companies to report ingredients in their cosmetic products that are considered carcinogens or reproductive toxins under Proposition 65.

Women’s Voices for the Earth’s recent analysis shows that more than 20 companies—including the makers of Dial, Right Guard, Tresemme, Nexxus, Gold Bond, Selsun Blue, and even “green” brands like CHI Organics—are attempting to skirt the intent of the California’s Safe Cosmetics Act by avoiding public ingredient disclosure in the state’s new database.

Are your tampons toxic? How many feminine care products ‘contain undisclosed ingredients’ linked to allergic rashes, asthma and cancer.

Posted January 14th, 2014

Daily Mail Online

December 23, 2013

Sadie Whitelocks

A new report sheds light on the potentially harmful chemicals found in feminine care products and calls for a stronger regulation of ingredients.

Chem Fetale, issued by the Montana-based health advocacy group Women’s Voices for the Earth, focuses on the undisclosed substances contained in tampons, sanitary towels and wipes, such as preservatives, pesticides, fragrances and dyes.

Toxic tampons: How ordinary feminine care products could be hurting women.

Posted January 7th, 2014


December 22, 2013

Laura Kiesel

Nowadays, we hear a lot about the noxious cocktail of chemicals that can be found in our food, furniture, cleaning products and even our cosmetics. Yet we never really hear about what might be included in some of the most intimate personal care products women use.

“Chem Fatale” — a report recently released by Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) — attempts to shed some light on this subject by taking aim at the $3-billion-a-year feminine care industry. In particular, the group examines products such as maxi pads, tampons and douches that contain potentially harmful ingredients including pesticides, dyes and dioxin, which has been identified by the World Health Organization as a Persistent Organic Pollutant, a toxic chemical that persists in environments for long periods of time. The report also includes a “Hall of Shame” appendix that features examples of feminine care brands that contain toxic chemicals.

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Your Tampons Probably Have Toxins in Them.

Posted January 7th, 2014


December 23, 2013

Callie Beusman

Living in this day and age, one learns to accept that there are harmful chemicals in a lot of the things we surround ourselves with and ingest: there are toxins in cosmetics, in food, in cleaning products, and so on and so (terrifyingly) forth. So, while it’s probably not surprising that feminine care products — tampons, pads, feminine wipes and douches — contain toxic substances, it is alarming how little is known about the scope and seriousness of the problem.

According to “Chem Fatale,” a creatively titled report recently released by Women’s Voices for Earth (WVE), 85 percent of women use tampons. Tampons are normally made from bleached cotton and/or rayon; the bleaching process can expose the product to toxic dioxins and furans, which have been linked to “cancer, reproductive harm and endocrine disruption,” and tampons made from non-organic cotton may contain pesticides. A 2002 study found “small but detectable” levels of both compounds in four separate tampon brands, and, although the study authors declared the toxin levels “insignificant compared to the risk of exposure… people face from eating food,” they failed to take into account the fact that vaginal tissue is highly permeable.

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Feminine care products may not be as safe as you think.

Posted November 22nd, 2013

MT Public Radio

November 6, 2013

Sally Mauk

Almost all women use some form of feminine care product – from tampons to sprays – but how toxic are these products?

Surprisingly, according to the Missoula-based Women’s Voices for the Earth, there have been few studies of their toxicity – until now. The group has just released their report, titled “Chem Fatale”, of the potential health effects of toxic chemicals in feminine care products. The report found that few of these products have been tested for their safety and that many contain some level of toxic chemicals.

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A New Reason to Avoid Douchebags: Survey Finds Toxics in Feminine Care Products.

Posted November 22nd, 2013

Beacon Reader

November 6, 2013

Amy Westervelt

Let’s face it: Americans aren’t overly comfortable with vaginas. That simple fact has helped to grow a multi-billion-dollar U.S. market for products such as douche, feminine wipes and deodorants, and fragranced tampons and maxi pads, many of which are marketed as a “solution” to vaginal problems that are themselves marketing inventions. In fact, the American Public Health Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend against intravaginal cleaning as well as the use of fragranced tampons and pads, feminine sprays and powders.

A recent survey of available research on the effect of these products on women’s health, conducted by the nonprofit group Women’s Voices for the Earth, reveals that many feminine care products—particularly those that are heavily perfumed—contain high levels of potential carcinogens, as well as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which can cause tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Because chemicals absorbed by the vagina do not have to be metabolized to make their way into all of the body’s systems (which is why some estrogenic drugs are intentionally administered vaginally), public health advocates are calling for closer regulation of these products as well as greater responsibility and transparency from the companies that manufacture them.

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Groundbreaking Report Exposes Chemicals Linked to Cancer in Feminine Care Products.

Posted November 22nd, 2013


November 6, 2013

A new report by Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) details how the feminine care industry sells products containing unregulated and potentially harmful chemicals, including preservatives, pesticides, fragrances and dyes.

The report, Chem Fatale, kicks off a campaign that will target Proctor & Gamble, makers of Tampax and Always, to disclose the ingredients in tampons and pads, and eliminate toxic chemicals. The campaign also wants to encourage consumers to demand more government oversight of the $3 billion feminine care industry.

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New website claims “toxic chemicals” in most cosmetics products.

Posted September 11th, 2013

Cosmetics design.com

August 27, 2013

A coalition of environmental groups has launched a website which claims to reveal carcinogens and harmful chemicals in everyday cosmetic products.

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Consumer Groups Say Chemicals in Glade Pose Threat.

Posted June 14th, 2013

American News Report

June 13, 2013

Richard Lenti

They’re some of the most popular cleaning products on the market:  Windex, Tide, Pledge and Glade. And for years a consumer advocate group has complained that unlisted ingredients in them pose a serious threat to the health of consumers.

Now, SumOfUs.org, in partnership with Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), is petitioning S.C. Johnson & Son to come clean about the specific chemicals in its air freshener Glade.

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