What? Toxins in feminine hygiene products, what am I talking about?! This blog is sensitive and yet very important for me to share with my readers. This year has brought me up close and personal with some of the very issues that one of my networking groups is so passionate about; educating the public on current practices and statistics that affect the health and well-being of people and the planet. The last film to be viewed was entitled, “Unacceptable Levels” which exposed the toxic chemical load in many products that we use every day (View trailer here).
Though I was unable to attend this screening and I have not yet watched the full documentary, I had my own personal experiment with “unacceptable levels”. After a year of going through extremely uncomfortable levels of itching and burning and experimenting on all kinds of natural treatments for it, I have discovered an interesting fact! I am not alone in this uncomfortable symptom. Who knew that there are several reports online to highlight the underlying cause of many women’s experience of these symptoms? My riddle was solved when I had a conversation with another girlfriend whose daughter was experiencing the same thing and whose doctor had seen these reports and advised her to make a switch in her chosen brand of feminine care products. I was ecstatic to say the least! Of course I had been using the brand most connected to causing reactions, “Always”. I have now converted to a natural brand called “Organyc” (product line shown above).
Here is a list of products and typical toxins and side effects that they cause taken from an organization called Women’s Voices for the Earth:
Potential Health Hazards Associated with Feminine Care Products
Tampons: Hazardous ingredients may include dioxins and furans (from the chlorine bleaching process), pesticide residues and unknown fragrance chemicals. Exposure concerns include cancer, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and allergic rash.
Pads: Hazardous ingredients may include dioxins and furans, pesticide residues, unknown fragrance chemicals, and adhesive chemicals such as methyldibromo glutaronitrile. Exposure concerns include cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption. Studies link pad use to allergic rash.
Feminine Wipes: Hazardous ingredients may include Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, parabens, quaternium-15, DMDM Hydantoin and unknown fragrance chemicals. Exposure concerns include cancer and endocrine disruption. Studies link wipe use to allergic rash.
Feminine Wash: Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, DMDM Hydantoin, D&C Red No.33, Ext D&C Violet #2, and FD&C Yellow #5. Exposure concerns include endocrine disruption, allergic rash, and asthma.
Douche: Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals and the spermicide Octoxynol-9. Studies link douche use to bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, low-birth weight, preterm birth, HIV transmission, sexually transmitted diseases, ectopic pregnancy, chronic yeast infections, and infertility.
Feminine deodorant (sprays , powders and suppositories): Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, and Benzethonium Chloride. Exposure concerns include reproductive harm, endocrine disruption and allergic rash.
Feminine anti-itch creams: Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, Methylisothiazolinone and an active ingredient, benzocaine, a mild anesthetic. Exposure concerns include endocrine disruption, allergic rash, and unresolved itch.
I am thankful for this journey as it resulted in yet another change of buying pattern that is more sustainable for me and the planet. It also educated me to be a guidepost for other women who come to me with these symptoms. Let’s support each other in making positive changes. Please share any relevant stories and tips that you may have.
You can reach me by phone or email, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the page if you are reading this post on the website.
Until next time,