When it comes to managing our periods, most people don’t really give much thought about the products beyond say, the brand or cost. It’s no surprise really since we need a menstrual product that you know, works and doesn’t break the bank. I know from my experience that I gravitated towards whatever was on offer and made promises of being ‘leak proof’. But I never once stopped to think about what was in the tampons or pads I was buying. Have you?
We see adverts on TV of pristine white pads or tampons, making us feel like they’re pure and wholesome. Hearing the words ‘feels like real cotton’ gives us that sense of luxury and… wait what? ‘Feels like real cotton’? If this isn’t cotton, then what on earth am I putting inside me?
In 2014, Women’s Voices for The Earth and Naturally Savvy tested an Always pad and found that it contained:
- Acetone: irritant and found in nail varnish remover
- Chloroform: neurotoxin, reproductive toxicant, carcinogen
- Chloromethane: reproductive toxicant
- Chloroethane: carcinogen
- Styrene: carcinogen
Also, in 2015 there were menstrual products found to have contained roundup weed killer (a herbicide)! Scary, right? And this isn’t all. There are perfumes and goodness knows what else in pads and tampons that don’t have their ingredients disclosed. Due to an EU legislation and FDA ruling, brands don’t have to disclose the ingredients in their pads and tampons.
My experience with non-organic cotton products
From a young age, I believed ‘trusted brands’ like Tampax and Always. I mean, why wouldn’t I? You see adverts everywhere and they’re readily sold in many places. My mum, aunts and friends all used them. They couldn’t possibly be bad for me, right? Wrong. These products caused me severe itching, burning and recurring monthly yeast infections. My period quite literally became a monthly curse.
Not all brands are created equal
You see, not all brands of pads and tampons are created equal. Only a few brands, like TOTM, truly have your best interests at heart by disclosing their ingredients, and care about your health by using organic cotton in their products.
And it’s not only our health to consider, but also the impact on the planet. Because many brands contain plastics, they can stick around for hundreds of years in landfill.
Why not detox your menstrual products and try 100% organic cotton tampons?
Guest blog by Tamsin Hopkins aka Eco Fluffy Mama