Tampons are used by up to 85 percent of menstruating women and may contain dioxins or pesticide residues linked to cancer, hormone disruptors, allergens and irritants from fragrance.
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.
Tampons are used by up to 85 percent of menstruating women and may contain dioxins or pesticide residues linked to cancer, hormone disruptors, allergens and irritants from fragrance, WVE said. Feminine wipes, feminine washes and feminine deodorant products contain toxic preservatives like parabens, which may be hormone disruptors, or quaternium-15 and DMDM hydantoin, which release cancer-causing formaldehyde. Most feminine care products are fragranced and commonly contain known fragrance allergens—including anti-itch products. These chemicals sometimes exacerbate the very symptoms a woman is attempting to self-treat with these products. [emphasis mine]
Well, glad to learn someone is testing these products for safety. If they are found to be carcinogenic, I do hope women will follow up with lawsuits. It seems money is the only thing that motivates goods and services providers to submit to healthy ingredients. We exist as a litigious nation because it works better than any other tactic I know.
Luckily, I don't use Tampax brand. ;)
No seriously though, I've used OBs nearly all my menstruating life. They waste so much less materials, and their fancy ones (Pro Silk) are coated in a thin film which separates the vaginal flesh from the absorbent cotton, sort of like some diapers. I'm 47 and have used OBs since age 16 or so.
Mind you, there is zero family history of any sort of cancer that I know of, so that might be helping me.
Proctor and Gamble sits on the board of Monsanto. Monsanto grows GMO Bt cotton which makes the tampons. Studies (Charles Benbrook, Washington State University, Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops on Pesticide Use in the U.S. - the First Sixteen Years Environmental Sciences Europe 2012, 24:24 doi:10.1186/2190-4715-24-24) indicate that "Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied. If new genetically engineered forms of corn and soybeans tolerant of 2,4-D are approved, the volume of 2,4-D sprayed could drive herbicide usage upward by another approximate 50%. The magnitude of increases in herbicide use on herbicide-resistant hectares has dwarfed the reduction in insecticide use on Bt crops over the past 16 years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future."
The pesticide residue on Bt cotton prior to tampon manufacturing is something I never thought about until now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.