Unfortunately, our research shows that many of today’s menstrual and vaginal care products contain a host of chemicals that may cause cancer, disrupt hormones, or cause unnecessary allergic reactions. Tampons are used by up to 70 percent of menstruating women in the U.S. Other products such as douches, sprays, washes, and wipes, are used by 20-50% of women, with use rates considerably higher among African-American, Latina and low-income women. The Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to test for all harmful chemicals, nor do they require companies to disclose the presence of all chemicals used in these products.
Given the widespread use of these products, the particularly sensitive exposure route for women, and the lack of regulatory oversight, Women’s Voices for the Earth is working to eliminate toxic chemicals from the $3 billion U.S. period and ‘feminine care’ products market.
In April 2018, we sent six popular brands of U.S. tampons to a lab to see what we could find out. We tested for volatile organic compounds – a suite of over 100 toxic air pollutants that can be tested for simultaneously. We discovered that for some brands – there appears to be more complexity (and chemical emissions) than others. Learn more.
Women across the country are throwing Detox the Box Parties to raise awareness about the problem of hidden and harmful chemicals in menstrual and personal care products. This action kit is designed to spark dialogue between friends and de-stigmatize the topic of menstrual and vaginal health, so that we can focus on working to make period products safe, healthy and available. Sign-up today!
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.
Through claims of “freshness,” “confident clean” and yes, even “odor control,” wipes are being advertised as the better option for the health and happiness of women. But the truth is, wipes may be doing you (and the planet) more harm than good.
Colorants found in some feminine washes come in contact with vaginal mucous membranes –violating the FDA’s use restrictions, and may adversely affect the health of women using these products.
Whether you use vaginal douching products or not, this important first-of-its-kind study reaffirms the need for more research into this unique and sensitive route of exposure for women.
Congress makes a move to address long-ignored feminine hygiene concerns. Learn more.
Women of Color Are Tired of Being Targeted by Toxic Marketing, Toxic Products. Learn more.
Whether you use vaginal douching products or not, this important first-of-its-kind study reaffirms the need for more research into this unique and sensitive route of exposure for women. Learn more.