Recently, the Robin Danielson Menstrual Product and Intimate Care Product Safety Act of 2022 (HR 8724) was introduced in Congress. If passed, the bill requires a research program focused on studying the health risks of fragrance ingredients, pesticides, phthalates, titanium dioxide, and other ingredients used in these products.
A new report released by health and justice organizations, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), Clean & Healthy New York, Sierra Club (Atlantic Chapter) and WE ACT for Environmental Justice, spotlights how new ingredient disclosure requirements for menstrual products are providing improved and vital information about chemical exposure from the use of these products. The report, "What’s in Your Period Product? An investigation of ingredients disclosed on product labels", calls attention to significant changes the industry has made in increasing ingredient transparency, as well as chemicals of concern that, until now, were kept hidden from people who use these products.
“Allowing companies to claim CBI is an immediate red flag when it comes to the safety of period care products. These products have been woefully under-regulated and under-researched for decades and there is so much we don’t know about their manufacturing, ingredients and potential health impacts,” said Alexandra Scranton, Director of Science and Research at WVE. “Allowing some ingredients to be hidden as CBI will hamper the progress of needed research, and will not give people who menstruate, advocates, or researchers a full picture of the ingredients used in these products.”
Scented menstrual products not only increase exposure to harmful chemicals found in fragrance ingredients, they also perpetuate the myth that menstruation and vaginas are dirty.
Testing results underscore the need for companies to disclose what ingredients they use in these products AND the need to clean up the supply chain to help reduce contaminants.
Environmental health organization, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), has released a new fact sheet that raises concerns about the use of nanosilver in menstrual products like period underwear and pads, calling particular attention to the antibacterial agent’s impact on important bacteria necessary for maintaining vaginal and vulva health. Not all period underwear or menstrual pads are made with nanosilver, but unfortunately companies who make these products are not required to disclose their ingredients.
The Week of Action is a campaign seeks to amplify the message that access to safe, affordable menstrual products shouldn’t be a privilege, but a fundamental right -- Natracare joins WVE to bring it across the pond to the US!
This testing doesn’t tell us everything we need to know. It is just one snapshot demonstrating that there is more to these products than is currently being disclosed.