Sanitary Wear – Is It Safe?
If you’ve never considered that sanitary towels & tampons could be unhealthy, think again.
The ingredients in many products are not good for us and can make skin irritations, allergies and soreness worse. The safest material is 100% organic cotton, yet every month many women continue to use ‘unhealthy’ products that contain rayon – for absorbency, cellulose gel – to make the pad thin, chlorine – to bleach the colour, latex, binders and other non essential ingredients.
Many women experience Allergic Feminine Irritation (AFI) and think they have thrush, or another similar bacteria related discharge, and In a survey of UK gynaecologists, “75% believe that conventional sanitary protection could be the cause of intimate irritation.“ Gynaecological tests also concur that the safest material is 100% organic cotton.
Bleaching exposes women and the pads/tampons to Dioxin, which can build up in the body. Dioxin is potentially carcinogenic, linked to cancer, toxic to the immune system and reproductive systems and has been linked to low sperm counts in men and endometriosis.
Let’s take a further look at Dioxin.
Various sources of Dioxin
The chemical 2,3,7,8 –TCDD belonging to the Dioxin family of chemicals has the unsavoury reputation of being labelled ‘the most toxic chemical on Earth.’
Certain forms of Dioxin are created naturally, through forest fires and volcanoes but the larger bulk of the chemical is primarily produced as a by-product of modern day manufacturing processes. It is a contaminant that is created during the manufacture of chlorine containing products such as wood preservatives, pesticides and it is a by-product of the paper bleaching process. It is also created during a variety of burning processes such as rubbish incineration and the burning of fossil fuels.
Other forms of Dioxin are widely used in domestic environments, where they are used in homes to control weeds in lawns and gardens.
Also 2,4,5-T was one of the active ingredients in the herbicide family known as Agent Orange that was used to spray 3.6 million acres of Jungle during the Vietnam War.
The Dangers of Dioxin
Initial lab tests on a variety of animals showed Dioxin to be a lethal carcinogen. It was, for instance a thousand times more poisonous to guinea pigs than arsenic. It also gained some notoriety when in 1997, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) a part of the WHO, classed 2,3,7,8-TCDD as a group 1 carcinogen meaning that it was a known human carcinogen. Also a recent study carried out in July 2002 has linked Dioxin with an increased incidence of breast cancer.
In light of this the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suspended the use of 2,4,5-T for most purposes including their use in herbicides.
But more delicate experiments revealed that real dangers of Dioxin. While it took usually large doses of Dioxin to impair the reproductive systems of adult rats, a number of ground-breaking experiments discovered that extremely small doses of Dioxin did long-term damage to the reproductive systems of males exposed in the womb.
A single small dose of Dioxin on the fifteenth day of pregnancy in rats, proved to be devastating. Male pups born to mothers given Dioxin showed noticeable abnormalities in their reproductive organs when they grew up and showed sperm count reductions as low as 56%. Dioxin was an endocrine disruptor.
Human Exposure to Dioxin
We incorporate Dioxin into our bodies through various routes. The major source of Dioxin comes through out diet. It bio-accumulates in the food chain and it is fat-soluble. According to a recent study most North Americans obtain more than 90% of their Dioxin load from meat and dairy products and a staggering 23% from milk alone.
Dioxin acts like a powerful hormone capable of producing very strong, oestrogen-like effects at very low doses – doses that are very close to those found in the human population. Dioxin is a very dangerous chemical for a number of reasons. It is an endocrine disruptor of unknown potential.
Considering that a woman uses over 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, the issue of how the tampon is made and from what is an important health and environmental consideration for women.
Time to change?
All this is from a Sanitary Towel?.. Really?
So what can you do about it?
There are a few good brands out there but the only brand that I can recommend is Natracare. I have been using this brand for years and I can say that I have certainly noticed a difference. The ‘duration’ of my time was greatly decreased. symptoms gone, and a lighter flow.
Natracare never uses latex. Without enforced labelling of feminine hygiene products, it is difficult for women with latex allergy to find out that there are some sanitary pads and liners available today that do use latex in their products. Latex can be used to make the wings on pads more flexible, or it can be used as a binder in the cover that is used on the surface of pads and liners, where it is in close contact with the skin.
Natracare tampons are made from only certified organic 100% cotton and are the only fully certified organic cotton tampons available in the world today. They are non-chlorine bleached and women can be reassured that they do not contain synthetic materials, such as rayon, or chemical additives such as binders or surfactants. Certified organic cotton removes the risk of direct exposure to residues from chemical pesticides and fertilisers used on traditional cotton.
Natracare chemical free pads are high quality products made from only pure and natural materials that are made from plant cellulose. They are not chlorine bleached and are free of rayon, plastics and other similar synthetic materials that have a negative impact on our environment.
Non-Chlorine Bleached . Perfume free . Natural Materials . Extra Soft Cover . Plastic free . Biodegradable . Certified Organic 100% Pure Cotton . ICEA/IMO Certified. Soft and Strong . No Chlorine . No Parabens . No SLS . No Alcohol . Not Tested On Animals . Suitable for Vegans
I purchase from Waitrose for around £1.95 for 12, which is not much more than the high brands. Considering the lengths they go to to provide a better product and the improvements made to your life.
There are a few more brands out there. Check them out and let me know how you get on… Can’t wait!