Toxins and Chemicals in Period Products
Okay, people. It’s time to get a little intimate here. It’s bad enough that the periods we get result in mood swings, grumpiness, PMS and cramps. But what about what’s hiding in our tampons and pads?
Our health may depend on the choices we make in this area. Toxins and chemicals in period products are the norm. Tampons and pads are made with pesticide-laden cotton, and rayons that are bleached with cancer causing chemicals. These products often also contain artificial fragrances that contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. These products are in contact with sensitive permeable skin for long periods of time, so it’s even more critical to think about what they contain. Our periods already wreak havoc on the vagina’s natural PH balance as it is, without the chemicals found in products adding to the imbalance.
Healthy Child Healthy World posted a great article about why we should be choosing safer reusable or disposable options, such as silicone cups, washable pads, or pure unbleached organic cotton tampons and pads. They also have some great resources about healthy options for all facets of life.
Women’s Voices for the Earth also released a report called Chem Fatale, highlighting the toxins and chemicals in all period products. It can be downloaded here. They also have a “Hall of Shame” for products to avoid, as well as a list of concerning chemicals.
Bottom Line: The information is out there! The majority of the big brand period products are full of stuff we don’t want getting into our bodies. Now it’s up to us to make educated decisions for what we will purchase for ourselves and our daughters. Vote with your wallet.
Toxins and chemicals is one thing – then there’s the WASTE to consider with period products.
Over the course of a lifetime, a single menstruator will use somewhere between 5 and 15 thousand pads and tampons, the vast majority of which will wind up in landfills as plastic waste.National Geographic, “How tampons and pads became so unsustainable”
We all know how terrible plastic pollution is for our environment. So here are some greener and healthier options for period products!
I use reusable pads most often because I find them easiest to use. Just check the fabrics they’re made from to ensure that you’re not exposing your delicate parts to toxins in the fabrics. My favourite ones are the illum brand – and they have both organic cotton and bamboo options. They come in so many different sizes too, so they are great for using throughout your entire period.
Reusable Period Underwear
I was hesitant to try out period underwear at first because I imagined it would be hard to change out your underwear if you were away from home in a public washroom. But I think if you know your flow, it can be feasible. I tend to use period underwear more on lighter flow days overnight so I don’t need to worry about pads moving, or when I’m going to do something more active. So far I’ve only used the Thinx brand, which I’ve been quite satisfied with. They have different styles for different body types and different levels of flow, which is great. There are lots of other brands out there too!
Menstrual cups are great because you don’t need to buy a bunch of them! However it might take trying out different brands to figure out what’s most comfortable for you. They’re typically made from silicone which makes them easy to wash.
If you aren’t comfortable with reusables, or want some disposables as a backup (you don’t have to go all one way!), here are some options that are better for you and the earth:
What non toxic and green period products do you love?
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I use a Lunette cup and I absolutely love it. I would never go back
That’s fantastic, Katie! I know that it can be hard for some women to wrap their head around using something like a cup instead of the traditional methods!