What’s in Your Tampon?

New York State has become the first in the nation to require that menstrual products list the ingredients that are used in items such as pads, tampons and even our newest, Diva Cups. For so long, girls have wordlessly used these products without so much as a question as to what they are made out of. Rather, we’ve stood aside and dealt with case after case of toxic shock and other various incidents that can happen with our most sensitive parts. 

Courtesy: Flickr

Of course, that does not mean that no one has brought the issue up. It was Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal who finally started the action behind the bill. Rosenthal has been a feminist for many years and has discussed many of the issues with Pink Tax, which places taxes specifically upon menstrual products, labeling them as a ‘luxury’. 

Courtesy: Twitter (@PPNYCAction)

Rosenthal hopes that this bill will not only keep women and girls safe from harmful products but, according to Forbes, that it will also “…hold menstrual product manufacturers to the highest level of accountability.” The Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, has signed the Menstrual Products Right To Know Act (Bill A164A) into action on Oct. 11. He has given companies 18 months to update their packaging or they will no longer be sold in stores throughout New York State. The Bill is a huge step in the road towards the Period Equity Movement. For Governor Cuomo, this is not his first act in trying to provide better health care towards Period Equity, as he signed in law earlier this year that required schools to provide free menstrual products to girls.

According to CNN, Cuomo says, “It's part of the pervasive culture of inequality in our society that has gone on for too long, and that injustice ends today.” Which, frankly, is an amazing step for a man to point out that women have been let down in their healthcare throughout history.

The Chem Fatale is an annual report that discusses the issues in various feminine care products. Tampons and pads include “hazardous ingredients” used in bleaching that has been linked in causing “cancer, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and allergic rash.”

Courtesy: Need Pix

For too long now, we have all used products that have no information about them and in recent studies, there has been an increase in the usage of chemicals and other ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or even infections. Young girls and women have been using products not only to control their menstrual flow but in recent years to cover smells with various takes on scented tampons. These products have not been required to say what is in them that makes them smell so fresh and in turn, have alluded to many women thinking that they are safe. According to research, they are not. 

Pads, tampons, feminine wash, wipes and deodorants are all extremely harmful towards the vagina which has a natural odor, balances its own pH levels and only comes into further risk with the usage of these products.

Courtesy: Flickr

With a lack of knowledge in just what we are putting into our bodies, we have dealt with so many risks including infections, cancer and even death in more severe cases. If you have had symptoms of any sort that may be connected to a feminine care product, it is important to get in contact with the FDA at 1-800-332-1088 or to fill out an online form.

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