Common feminine care products contain hazardous chemicals including carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and reproductive toxins that can cause cancer among other dangers, a new report shows.
Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) released Wednesday the report Chem Fatale revealing feminine care products, a $3 billion industry, are marred by toxins and void of crucial regulations, putting the health of millions of women at risk.
The report finds that the products used on or in absorbent parts of the female body are sold with little or no data provided about the ingredients they contain.
“The chemicals used in these products are a real concern given the inevitable exposure to sensitive and absorptive vulvar and vaginal tissue,” said Dr. Ami Zota, a professor of occupational and environmental health at George Washington University, in a press release.
For instance, tampons and menstrual pads are regulated by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as medical devices, thus are not required by law to disclose ingredients, making “it nearly impossible for consumers to avoid chemicals of concern found in these products.”
Feminine washes, wipes and sprays are defined as “cosmetics” and are required to be free of harmful substances that would harm users under normal conditions. Yet the FDA says it does not assess or preapprove products before they are marketed.
“Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA.” …