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Detox the Box

Toxic chemicals don't belong in feminine care products. Period.



Update: Two of the world’s largest feminine care manufacturers — Procter and Gamble and Kimberly Clark — are starting to disclose ingredients in pads and tampons. This victory is the direct result of women raising their voices and demanding ingredient transparency! Read more.

It’s not over! Feminine care manufacturers need to disclose ALL the ingredients used in these products. When it is perfectly legal to use harmful chemicals in feminine care products, full ingredient transparency—including fragrance ingredients—is critical. Especially since toxic chemicals are coming into contact with some of the most sensitive and absorptive skin on our bodies.

Take Action!

Tell the Feminine Care Industry to Detox the Box! Toxic chemicals don't belong in feminine products. Period.


The Problem

Feminine care. Feminine hygiene. Personal cleansing products. Intimate care.
No matter what you call them, these consumer products are manufactured for and marketed exclusively to women. The $3 billion feminine care industry often advertises these products to help women “feel fresh,” “increase confidence,” and even enhance sex appeal.

Our Chem Fatale report finds toxic chemicals commonly used in feminine care products like pads and tampons — and there’s nothing sexy or fresh about toxic chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive harm, hormone disruption, and allergic reactions in products that come into close contact with sensitive lady parts. Feminine wipes, for example, can contain preservatives that release toxic formaldehyde. And test results show dioxins, furans and pesticide residues in tampons, which have been linked to cancer, reproductive harm, and hormone disruption.

Toxic chemicals have no place in products that come into contact with some of the most sensitive and absorptive skin on women’s bodies. The real kicker? Many of these chemicals are not required to be listed on the label, so women have no idea what they are being exposed to. Women deserve better.

Here’s why this is a serious problem:

  • WVE’s test results show secret toxic chemicals in Always pads.
  • Test results show dioxins, furans and pesticide residues in tampons, which have been linked to cancer, reproductive harm, and hormone disruption.
  • Studies link menstrual pad use to vulvar allergic rash in some women. Both adhesive chemicals like methyldibromo glutaronitrile and fragrances used in pads have been identified as causes of these allergic rashes.
  • Fragrance is commonly used in pads and tampons, and all fragrance ingredients are kept secret.
  • The harmful chemicals in these products come into contact with some of the most absorptive skin on our bodies!

Toxic chemicals don’t belong in feminine care products. Period.

Avoid Toxic Chemicals

  • Bookmark our Chemicals of Concern fact sheet so you can reference it when shopping for feminine products.
  • Reduce your use of feminine products, especially those that are medically unnecessary for a healthy vagina.
  • Choose unscented products where available, especially in tampons and pads.
  • Choose chlorine-free bleach or unbleached tampons and pads.
  • If you are having allergic symptoms, switch brands, and then tell the company why you did by calling the 800 number on the label.
  • Report any symptoms possibly resulting from feminine products to the FDA by calling 1-800-332-1088 or filling out a consumer report form.

Watch and share our hilarious spoof music video with a serious message: Detox the Box!

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are lubricants safe

Slippery Slope: Potential Hazards of Lubricants for Women

Over 65% of women in the United States report using some form of vaginal lubricant in the previous month. While they can be very effective at reducing discomfort at the time they are used, researchers are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential longer term health effects of exposure to these products.

Always pads

Always Test Results

The 2014 testing results indicate that both scented and unscented Always pads emit toxic chemicals, including chemicals identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the State of California Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, and reproductive and developmental toxins.

Chem Fatale Report

Chem Fatale report / Informe en en español

Potential Health Effects of Toxic Chemicals in Feminine Care Products

Pads tampons

Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Pads & Tampons

Learn about chemicals of concern found in tampons, pads, feminine washes, vaginal douches, feminine wipes and more.

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No Secrets Business Partners

Companies committed to increasing awareness of the links between women’s health and toxic chemicals.


Detox the Box Advisory Committee

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