Secret Women’s Business
Now that I have your attention – let’s talk sanitary products! Men, if you have daughters, then I urge you to read on also!
For me personally, I never considered questions around the how, what and where tampons and pads are made until I began to work on detoxing ALL areas of my life.
We all know that our skin is the biggest organ, and that it is extremely permeable, absorbing everything we come into contact with including the concoctions we smear onto ourselves and the quality of the air in our environment. So once you get a grasp of this, you then need to understand that only 1/10th of an inch is separating the inside of you from potential harmful toxins on the outside of you.
As general awareness is arising, we are becoming more conscious of what we expose ourselves to in order to maintain our health and wellbeing. Understanding that what goes onto our skin then goes unfiltered into our blood stream, has empowered many women to start reading the ingredients lists of their favourite skincare products. We all now know that extended exposure to these toxins results in an accumulation in our body, which can result in a myriad of health issues. Therefore why do so few of us extend this concern to our sanitary products, especially tampons which are coming into contact with an extremely sensitive area of skin?
When you consider that the average women uses 16,800 tampons in her lifetime (1), then wouldn’t you agree, this starts to become a major issue? Unfortunately though, as sanitary products aren’t deemed ‘medical devices’ manufacturers don’t have to disclose the ingredients they use. However, researchers have found that common chemicals in your sanitary products may include: plasticising chemicals like BPA and bisphenol-S (BPS), bleach (chlorine), phthalates, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, propylene glycol (PEG), DEHP, aluminium, alcohols, dioxins, odour neutralisers and artificial colours and fragrances. These chemicals are also known to disrupt embryonic development, deregulate gene expression, damage organs, cause abnormal cell growth, suppress the immune system, disrupt hormones, birth defects, infertility and have been linked to heart disease and of course cancer (1).
If this isn’t worrying enough, when you consider that conventional tampons are made with cotton and cotton crops are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, as well as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), you then begin to realise the severity of this issue. If you are worried about consuming GMOs, then why would you put a tampon that likely contains GMOs into your highly permeable lady parts?
So now that I have most likely scared you a little, rest assured there is an alternative. Bulk Wholefoods stock an awesome range of TOM organic tampons and pads, which contain no hidden nasties. Then if you want to go next level, you can also consider looking into organic period undies (yes there is such a thing) or a menstrual cup!
I hope this has given you a deeper understanding of what makes up our conventional sanitary products, and that it inspires you to consider some safer alternatives.