The prevalence of toxic substances in today's world is no longer in question. They can be found in any object - from food and cleaning products in our homes, to medicines and cosmetics. It may be a surprise, but toxic substances are also found in menstrual products - disposable pads and tampons. How can they harm our health?
Let's talk about skin
The skin is the largest organ in the body. Not all parts of the skin are the same. We are well acquainted with different skin types. For example, the skin of the hands and feet has low permeability, it acts as a kind of waterproof layer. Simply put, we do not absorb into the bloodstream what our feet and hands come in contact with. This is one of the key differences between vaginal skin and other skin.
Active absorption seat
Thanks to the pores, the vaginal skin is permeable. It allows liquids or gases to pass through it. The vagina is rich in blood vessels and forms a mucous membrane that protects it from harmful microorganisms. The presence of the mucous membrane is extremely important for health - it allows the vagina to self-cleanse and be healthy.
However, when it comes to toxic products and chemicals, it is worthwhile for us to be careful, because the mucous membrane can not only excrete but also absorb fluids much faster than other types of skin. Here, "absorb" is the key word. In the world of medicine, this is not new knowledge. In 1918, using animal experiments, Mach proved that chemicals injected into the vagina were quickly absorbed by the body and, in the case of poison, caused vomiting or even death. This method of injecting the medicine works effectively enough for the vagina to be called an 'absorption site'. In 1999, another study found that the use of synthetic estrogen (a naturally occurring female hormone) vaginally caused 10 times higher serum levels in the blood than when taken orally.
The vagina, of course, is not a helpless, unprotected organ - first of all, any substance must successfully cross the mucous and epithelial layers, however, when these layers of natural protection are crossed, the absorbed substances enter the circulatory system.
Drug delivery route
In essence, the vagina, due to its absorption capacity, is an effective "drug delivery route". This feature of the vagina means that everything that the vagina comes in contact with can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
The substances absorbed by the vagina bypass the digestive processes of saliva and stomach, which can help break them down and flush them out of the body. In this regard, a doctor said, "Chemicals on the skin can be worse than eating them."
Once in the body, chemicals can accumulate. Multiply the number of years a woman has her period by the number of disposable pads or swabs she has used in a year. You will get a unique chemical accumulation factor. This begs the question. Why aren't disposable packs or swabs marked as a "Time bomb”?
Knowing the properties of the vaginal skin and its effects on the body, it is important that users are aware of the substances contained in the products they purchase. However, according to the legislation, manufacturers of menstrual products are not required to disclose the ingredients of their products, as they are classified as "Medical goods". As a result, many people still do not know what raw materials the products they use are made of and what the potential risks of using them are.
Burning disposable packages and tampons
If the information is not disclosed, then activists are thinking about creative testing. For example, the author and nutritionist Andrea Donskis burned synthetic disposable pads and 100% organic cotton disposable pads in order to compare their combustion processes and the possible presence of substances. The video shows the organic cotton pad burning slowly, leaving a small amount of ash residue, while the undisclosed components of the synthetic package burn with thick black smoke and leaves significant residue, indicating that they may contain dioxins, synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives.
Experiment of burning disposable synthetic and 100% organic cotton packages.
Watch on YouTube: Pads on Fire - Pads Burning with Andrea Donsky from NaturallySavvy com
Secret toxic chemicals
In 2014, the US organization Women’s Voices for the Earth conducted laboratory tests of the Always menstrual pad. It was concluded that these pads release toxic chemicals that adversely affect the female reproductive system. The manufacturer did not disclose any of them on its product. This data is one of the first publicly available information on this type of product and its composition.
These toxic chemicals can cause cancer, adversely affect the reproductive system, promote endocrine disruption and cause other allergic reactions.
Secret toxic chemicals detected in disposable packages.
Disposable sanitary napkin companies, such as P&G, have stated that these chemicals are commonly found in the environment and fall within 'safe exposure limits', although the concept of safe exposure itself is highly controversial for the vaginal mucosa. According to Ami Zota (George Washington University), it would be more accurate to ask the question: "To what extent have we underestimated the potential effects of chemicals on the human body without taking into account the vaginas unique ability to absorb substances?"
Add pesticide residues, synthetic fragrances, odor neutralizers, plastic chemicals and dioxins to this list and you get a disturbing chemical cocktail.
Here are the facts to consider when choosing menstrual products:
- What we put in or place into contact with in the vagina is absorbed into the bloodstream and affects our overall health;
- Menstrual and hygiene products, such as disposable pads and swabs, can be a source of chemical exposure.
- To date, manufacturers of these products are not required to disclose ingredients. Tests carried out by individuals and organizations have shown the alarming presence of harmful chemicals in menstrual products.
A safer alternative
General rule: if it is sustainable and safe for the environment, then it is safe and good for us humans too!
Healthy and sustainable menstrual products include menstrual funnels and washable cloth pads.
Femme.eco stands for healthy, sustainable and safe menstrual products. Femme.eco fabric pads are made of high quality GOTS and Oeko-Tex 100 first class fabrics, thinking about your health and our planet.
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is a certificate of environmental and social responsibility, which guarantees that cotton is grown on organic farms, that no harmful substances are used in the production of fabric and that the working conditions of employees are respected.
The Oeko-Tex 100 standard class 1 certificate guarantees that the 100 most harmful raw materials are not used in the production of fabrics. The fabrics are suitable for the production of children's and babies' clothing.