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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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Protection from Toxic Chemicals? Not For All.

Posted June 14th, 2013

Wall Street Journal

June 13, 2013

A letter was sent today to Senators David Vitter, Barbara Boxer and other Senators asking for true protections for health in the new Senate reform of the Toxic Substance and Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). Recently the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) (S. 1009) was introduced in the U.S. Senate to update the failed TSCA framework.

The CSIA has been hailed by some as a bipartisan compromise, but public health officials, community advocates, small business owners, environmental justice leaders, scientists, workers, and parents call upon Congress to strengthen regulations to honor the legacy of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D — NJ) and provide real protections from toxic chemicals in homes, schools, and workplaces.

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Common cosmetics use can negatively impact the environment as well as the user.

Posted May 31st, 2013

Women News Network

May 29, 2013

While natural body-care products represent the fastest growing segment of the cosmetics market, your local pharmacy shelves are still full of products laden with toxic chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm.

To address this problem, today, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), and Congressman Ed Markey D-Massachusetts), introduced the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013, which would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that all personal care products are free of harmful ingredients. Existing law, which has not been significantly updated since 1938, has loopholes that allow chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other illnesses in products we use on our bodies every day.

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5 Reasons to Avoid Toxic Air Fresheners.

Posted May 24th, 2013

Huffington Post

May 23, 2013

Cassidy Randall

Have you ever wondered what’s in those myriad air fresheners that make your home smell like a tropical vacation or a woodsy cabin surrounded by wildflowers? It’s certainly not roses… Here are five reasons we think you should avoid air fresheners altogether.

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Why You Need to Ditch Dryer Sheets.

Posted April 9th, 2013


April 5, 2013

Alexandra Scranton

Mmm, the fresh scent of laundry that’s been dried with dryer sheets.

Wait a minute—how do dryer sheets do that?

Unfortunately, dryer sheets can contain some harmful chemicals—including hidden fragrance chemicals that lots of people are sensitive to—that vent off into the air we breath and rub off on our clothes and then onto our skin. Yikes! And the kicker is that dryer sheets aren’t even necessary to our laundry—so they’re just an extra source of exposure to toxic chemicals.

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