Why use Organic Feminine Care Products?
With the brewing scandal in the US and France over ingredients in feminine care products, and the rising awareness of cancerous and hormonal chemicals affecting women, tampons and pads are a hot topic , . After many years the conversation on women’s care products is finally being brought to light, and their voices are being heard for the first time. Women are not just learning and recognizing the impact that these products have on their heath, but also the environment , .
Let’s start by reviewing the environmental impact that feminine care products have. The average woman uses a low estimate of 300 tampons a year, for pads it’s about five kilograms of garbage a year . Keeping that in mind, a woman can use up to 11,000 tampons, or 250kgs of pads in a lifetime ! Sadly today, most tampons and pads are made from oil-based plastics, so they will never biodegrade . Furthermore, these numbers do not take into consideration panty liners, or the other products around women’s periods
However, as important as the environmental impact is, the impact on women’s health is just as serious. Above we mentioned oil-based plastics, when one inserts a tampon, or uses a pad it means they now have oil-based plastic in/against the most absorbent and sensitive part of their body . In addition to that, a majority of feminine care products contain surfactants, adhesives, and additives, that are bleached with chlorine, in turn creating traces of dioxin . These traces of dioxin while small are cancerous and can lead to other dangerous health conditions such as endometriosis . The problems endometriosis causes can range from painful periods, to infertility . While the science on the full effects of dioxin on the women’s body fully settled, further research is being done on the topic , .
Over the past forty years there have been several in-depth studies into the effects of various chemicals on women’s hormones, and health , , . Since the 1980s multiple studies have been published showing a strong link between tampons and pads that contain ingredients such as artificial fragrances/colors, polyester, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol (PEG), to menstrual disruption, cancer, and infertility , , . Tampons in particular cause more irritation since most contain synthetic fibers, which can stick to the vaginal wall, causing serious cases infections or other health complications , , .
Most tampons, and pads, contain hormonal chemicals, and these drastically affect your body , . The companies who make the tampons sometimes aren’t even aware of what is in them because the chemicals can come in at other points during the manufacturing process. Take cotton which is in most feminine care products, most likely pesticides or other additives have been used during the growing, harvesting, or creation process . The pesticides used on the plants for non-organic cotton, breaks down into synthetic estrogen , which suppresses progesterone and can lead to issues with fertility over a prolonged exposure .
One of the more serious infections tampons, can cause is Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS in short , . Initially the symptoms can seem flu like, with high fever, chills, headache, dizziness, but develop into vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, whites of eyes, or lips turning red, and in extreme cases death , . TSS is caused by micro tearing in the vaginal wall and a bacterial infection. Considering the chemicals discussed above that can be in non-organic tampons, those are now all in your body, which it can handle in small doses, but not long-term exposure, or at the levels some studies have found , , , . In cases when an individual is more sensitive or even allergic, the reactions are more severe , , .