“Conventional Feminine Hygiene Products: A Women’s Issue With Toxic Implications.”
“I’m a vigilant label reader and have been since I first began to uncover the toxic additives that make seemingly healthy food, junk food. The same is true of the supplements I take and the cosmetic products I put on my body. I’ve learned to look for dangerous chemicals disguised in harmless words like “fragrance” or “made with natural ingredients.” But it wasn’t until researching my new book Label Lessons: Your guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart (with co-author Lisa Tsakos), that I learned firsthand how tampons and sanitary pads, products that alleviate some of the confines of our monthly cycle, might actually be harming our bodies.
Here’s what I found out:
• Conventional tampons and sanitary pad companies don’t have to fully disclose their ingredients.
• Conventional tampons are typically manufactured using a blend of synthetic rayon and GMO cotton
because it’s cheaper to produce than cotton alone and it has a higher capacity for absorbing liquid.
Rayon is a cellulose fiber made from wood pulp. It has been associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a synthetic, and potentially deadly, illness caused by bacteria associated with the use of tampons. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Researchers don’t know exactly how tampons may cause toxic shock syndrome. Some believe that when superabsorbent tampons are left in place for a long time, the tampons become a breeding ground for bacteria. Others have suggested that the superabsorbent fibers in the tampons can scratch the surface of the vagina, making it possible for bacteria or their toxins to enter the bloodstream.”
• Conventional tampons and sanitary pads are bleached using chlorine dioxide. Although the process
Is technically “chlorine-free”, it produces dioxins as a byproduct released into the environment. In
1998, the EPA outlawed a much more potent dioxin-producing bleaching process, and while the newer process significantly reduces dioxins; some experts believe it doesn’t eliminate them entirely from the end products. According to the EPA, dioxin exposure causes cancer in lab animals and poses a high risk to humans as well.
• Conventional tampons contain pesticides. I’ve long been wary of conventional, non-organic, foods
for fear of pesticide residue. All the while, conventional cotton, the most heavily sprayed crop in existence, is used in the tampons that women use each and every month. Cotton crops make up just 2.4 percent of the world’s land, but each year a whopping $2 billion is spent on pesticides to spray this one crop. If tampons were a fruit or a vegetable, they would most certainly be added to the top of the Dirty Dozen Plus list.
• Tampons and pads with odor neutralizers and other artificial fragrances are nothing short of a
chemical soup laced with artificial colors, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene,
and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility. We are becoming more aware of the dangers associated with chemicals in everyday products including lotions, shampoos, shower curtains, household cleaners, etc. but we need to stop and think about the tampons and sanitary pads we put into and onto our bodies every single month.
• While doing our research, we found very little information on this topic. We really had to dig deep.
* In 2003, House Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation that would have required
research into the health risks posed by additives found in feminine hygiene products. The suspected
risks included endometriosis, cervical cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. This legislation
didn’t pass. We recently called Carolyn Maloney’s office to inquire whether any new legislation has
been put forth since 2003 and they confirmed nothing has. It’s been over 10 years since concern
arose that the chemicals in tampons and pads could potentially harm women’s reproductive organs.
So why wouldn’t legislation to research the issue be brought back to the table over and over again
Until something is done about it?
• Many conventional sanitary pads include latex, a potential allergen. Latex can be used to make the
Wings on pads more flexible, and it can be used as a binder on the surface of pads and liners, where
It comes in close contact with the skin.
• Ninety percent of conventional sanitary pads are made from crude oil plastic. The rest is made from
chlorine-bleached wood pulp. By using plastic laden feminine hygiene products, we add the
equivalent to 180 billion plastic bags to our waste system.
• Conventional tampons most probably contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to
the USDA, 94 percent of all the cotton planted in the U.S. is genetically engineered. GMOs have been linked to a host of health issues including food allergies, leaky gut syndrome, and inflammation, just to name a few.
If you haven’t yet seen the GMO documentary film Genetic Roulette, I highly recommend it. I had the chance to hear the film’s director, Jeffrey Smith, speak and he showed that the evidence linking GMOs to health issues is something we can no longer ignore.
Inserting a GMO tampon into your vagina several times every month is no different than ingesting GMO food. In fact, it may even be worse. According to Dr. Susan Treiser, MD. the skin around the vaginal area is highly vascular and therefore more permeable to a wide range of compounds. I am not a doctor or scientist, but logic suggests that GMOs, pesticides or chemicals in the body – from either end – can’t be good for us.
Pick up a box of conventional sanitary pads and try to read the ingredients. You can’t because they aren’t listed. Why, you ask? Because sanitary pads are considered to be “medical device” and because they aren’t inserted into our body, the ingredients don’t have to be listed on the label or disclosed by the company. Many brands of tampons do list some of the ingredients on their package, but full disclosure isn’t mandatory. According to the FDA, proprietary ingredients and formulas are legally protected and do not have to be disclosed by companies.
Since when is a tampon or pad a “medical device?” I was curious what the definition of a “medical device” was so I looked it up.
According to the FDA, a “medical device” is:
“An instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar
or related article, including a component part, or accessory, which is:
• Recognized in the official national Formulary, or the United States Pharmacopoeia, or any
Supplement to them.
• Intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation,
Treatment, or prevention of disease, in man or other animals, or
• Intended to affect the structure or any function on the body of man or other animals, and which
Does not achieve its primary intended purposes through chemical action within or on the body
of man or other animals and which is not dependent upon being metabolized for the
achievement of any of its primary intended purposes.”
Since when are tampons and pads used to diagnose, prevent, or treat disease? Is a women’s menstrual cycle considered a disease?
What’s worse – even if ingredients were listed, generally modified ingredients wouldn’t be, because in the United States and Canada, unlike most industrialized nations, they don’t have to be.
This toxic mess has flown under the radar for so long because companies like Proctor & Gamble are not required to label their products.
Luckily, our extensive research also uncovered safe alternatives.
I spoke to dr. Phillip Tierno, a Clinical Professor of Microbiology and Pathology at NYU Medical Centre, who explained, “100 cotton tampons consistently test under detectable levels for TSS toxins.”
In Label Lessons, we look at Natracare, a line of feminine hygiene products with all the effectiveness and none of the toxins. Since tampon absorbency is regulated by the FDA, all tampons, organic and conventional, must meet strict absorbency guidelines. Natracare uses 100 percent organic cotton so there are no synthetic ingredients and no GMO cotton. And because the company uses hydrogen peroxide to bleach its products, they are also 100 percent dioxin-free. They’re wrapped in chlorine-free paper, the packaging is recycled, and they’re never tested on animals.
Other great safe feminine hygiene alternatives include the Diva Cup, Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Organic Cotton Tampons, Glad Rags Organic Pads, and ORGANYC 100 percent Organic Cotton Tampons.
The Environmental Perspective
In my lifetime, I’ll use 17,000 sanitary care products, so what I use matters, both for myself and for the planet, especially considering all the pesticides that create dead zones in our soil and water systems. And then there’s the crude oil plastic, which makes up 90 percent of conventional sanitary pads and is used in plastic applicator tampons. One conventional sanitary pad, for example, uses the equivalent of four plastic bags. Organic products like Natracare, on the other hand, are plastic free.
As women, not knowing what goes into and onto our bodies every single month sets us back decades. But even still, it’s not just a women’s issue. If you have a wife, daughter, mother, or sister, this issue impacts you as well.
Conventional tampon producers need to disclose what’s in their products; they need to be honest so that women can make safe, informed decisions about what they put in their bodies.
Personally, I use Natracare tampons and pads and have been for more than ten years. I have met Susie Hewson, the founder of the company, on several occasions and I am inspired by her passion and dedication to women’s health and the environment.
We called Proctor & Gamble on many different occasions to ask them to disclose what’s in their Always Infinity Pad. All they could tell us was that it contained foam and a proprietary formula called infinicel (a trademark), a super absorbent material with more than 60 patents. This was a very frustrating experience for us, as well as for P&G’s customer service representatives, because they are kept in the dark about the ingredients as well.
I can’t decide which is worse, the fact that we still don’t know what’s in a product that so many women use every month or that Proctor & Gamble isn’t obligated to tell us what their pads are made of, even when we go out of our way to call them.
Disclosing what’s in the products they make that go in and on women’s bodies should not be optional. It should be mandatory!
We need companies to be accountable for the products they manufacture. We need to know ahead of time how to avoid the rayon, pesticide residue, GMO cotton, dioxins, chemical toxins, petrochemicals, and plastic often found in conventional feminine hygiene products.
We need to have full disclosure labeling on tampons and pads so, as women, we can make informed decisions when it comes to the products we buy.
Please, please, sign the petition – http://chn.ge/10hDR2w.
Join me and the Naturally Savvy team, in putting an end to this breach of public trust by signing our petition to force Proctor & Gamble to tell us what’s in their products.
For a full list of references go to our ebook, Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart, found at www.naturallysavvy.com
In closing, I would like to say this is just throwing another log on the fire of corruption, deceit, corporations geared to making money at the health expense of the people, and let’s not forget Monsanto’s sponsoring of chemtrails so they can determine if their garbage crops are resistant to the adverse effects of arsenic, barium, strontium, and aluminum dropped on them, with no regard for the effects on the people and their thyroid gland (yes, all those chemicals dropped by the chemtrails affect the thyroid gland) or other crops that these poisons drop on. We live in a world where the only importance is the amount of money in a trick’s pocket that can pay for the products offered for sale, and as you can see from this article the corporations hide behind loopholes to not label ingredients.
What happens when these toxins infiltrate our systems? What happens is that we get sick and visit a hooker (physician) that is clueless as to how to fix the problem other than prescribing a pharmaceutical to merely treat a symptom. If they know that organic sulfur crystals removed heavy metals, toxins, radiation, parasites and more, they still would not advise it because a business flourishes by repeat business not by a cure.
And the motto of the pimps and hookers? In God we trust. All others pay cash.
P.S. Just recently, I was contacted by a woman that developed a vaginal fungus. The cause that we could determine was the Monsanto GMO cotton tampons that most of that industry uses. I told her that the sulfur crystals would fix the problem. On faith, she ordered them. Ten days later the old skin was dying off and new skin was regenerating. What also sped up the process was that several months ago she switched to a vegan diet, gave up sugar, salt, and processed foods and the crystals just increased the detoxification and the healing.
To learn more about Hesh, listen to and read hundreds of health related radio shows and articles, and learn about how to stay healthy and reverse degenerative diseases through the use of organic sulfur crystals and the most incredible bee pollen ever, please visit www.healthtalkhawaii.com, or email me at email@example.com or call me at (808) 258-1177. Since going on the radio in 1981 these are the only products I began to sell because they work.
Oh yeah, going to www.asanediet.com will allow you to read various parts of my book – “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”, containing a wonderful comment by Mike Adams.
In Hawaii, the TV stations interview local authors about the books they write and the newspapers all do book reviews. Not one would touch “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”. Why? Because it goes against their advertising dollars.