What type of feminine care products do you use? I actually feel violated now that I know my most trusted brand of feminine care products has let me down.
Feminine care products seem to be a taboo subject for some women. Many of us shy away from discussing them out of fear of judgment. But, do you know that many feminine care products contain harmful, toxic chemicals just like many other personal care products? Because feminine care products are an unregulated industry, chemicals like dioxin, pesticides, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, and fragrance lurk in many of them used by over 43 million women.
Dioxin is a known cancer-causing agent that is capable of disrupting hormones and has been linked to endometriosis.
Pesticides are commonly used in growing cotton – so if the tampon or pad you use is not made of organic cotton chances are you are being exposed to pesticide residue. Pesticides have been linked to infertility, neurological dysfunction and developmental defects.
Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives like polyoxymethylene urea and diazolidinyl urea are added to kill any bacterial growth in the product, however, they have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Fragrance is found almost everywhere. And because companies are not required to disclose the ingredients in their fragrance you can potentially be exposed to as many as 4,000 additional chemicals. Fragrance has been linked to cancer, developmental toxicity, reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, birth defects and neurological disorders.
Unfortunately, feminine care product companies are not legally required to disclose any of their ingredients in any of their products, in addition to fragrance, so you may or may not know you are being exposed to these hidden dangers.
And because vaginal and vulvar tissue are much different and more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body, it leaves them more vulnerable to exposure to toxic chemicals and irritants. Chemicals absorbed through the vagina are easily and effectively distributed throughout the body, without being metabolized. For example, when drugs are administered vaginally, the levels of the drug in the body can be up to 10-80 times higher than when the very same dose is given orally!
How to reduce your toxic exposure in feminine care products
1. Lessen your use of the following feminine care products, where possible:
Menstrual Pads / Sanitary Napkins
Over-the-counter Anti-Itch Creams
2. Opt for safer feminine care products from these companies:
3. With the aid of home remedies, a change in diet, and better hygiene, items like douches, wipes, washes, deodorants, and anti-itch creams may be avoided.
Read more about the Cumulative Exposure and Feminine Care Products at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Read the entire 24 page report on the Potential Health Effects of Toxic Chemicals in Feminine Care Products at Women’s Voices for the Earth.