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(disposable) Sanitary Pads - A silent health threat

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
we were talking about this on cafemom and just wanted to share the info-

an article you may find interesting:

Sanitary Pads - A silent health threat

November 18, 2008

Did you know that most sanitary pads(and tampons) are made or bleached with chlorine compounds that contain trace of the organochlorine - dioxin.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named dioxin the most potent carcinogen known to science.

A 1996 EPA study linked dioxin exposure with increased risks for endometriosis (an infection of the uterine lining).

The EPA has also concluded that people with high exposure to dioxins may be risk for other effects that could suppress the immune system, increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, reduce fertility, and possibly interfere with normal fetal and childhood development.

In overseas test, sanitary pads have been found to contain 400 parts per trillion (ppt) dioxin.

Although the paper industry has maintained that such levels are too low to cause any health problems, studies have shown that dioxin appears to migrate easily out of paper products.

Fish and other wildlife have died after exposure to the incredibly small dose of 38 parts per quadrillion dioxin.

The average women use approximately 15,000 pads over the course of her lifetime. The effect of continual exposure to dioxin, which is forever stored in fat cells, may become cumulative and deadly.

Manufactured with Lots of Chemicals

To make a sanitary pad, wood pulp fibers are first dispersed in water in large tub. Most of the chemical s and dyes required are added at this stage (The pulp is then scraped and brushed and inserted with air to make fleecy.

Some pads contain added rayon, which also originates from wood, for extra absorbency. The cellulose in the wood is dissolved in a caustic solution, and squirted into fine jets in an acid bath (The mixture then solidifies and dries into longer fibers).

Chemical processes included de-linking recycled material, washing with detergents and bleaching. (As a result, some traces of chemical used remain in the pad).

Additives are also used to enhance the properties of the pad. These include absorbency agents and wet-strength agent - often, polysorbate and area formaldehyde.

Further bleaching, involving chorine, may take place to achieve that growing white look.

What You Can See

That's the part you can't see. But even the external parts on a sanitary pad that you can see are all not natural.

The plastic bottom - to prevent leakage - will usually be made of polypropylene or rayon.

The non-woven fabric covering on the pad is a lightweight material which is often polypropylene or rayon.

The back has 1 or 2 strips of pressure-sensitive adhesive covered with a strip of siliconised compound paper. (The pads are then packaged in plastic bags or shrinkwrapped. And the packet itself may be printed with patterns - again, a chemical process.)

Full of Bacteria

Sanitary pass can also harbor bacterial as they are not sterilized products. In 1987, CAP's test of some popular brands sold here (Penang, Malaysia) found unacceptably high bacterial counts of up to 11,000 (over 10 times the international safety standard). This could lead to vaginal infection in women using the pads.

Sanitary products, like pads, can also be placed on the market without prior evidence of safety or efficacy, even in developed countries.

In Canada for example, tongue depressors, bandages and dental floss are all considered medical devices, but not women menstrual pads! Women are an all too easy target because they are bound by biology to menstruate for at least 35 years. Women are thus a captive market - and potentially easy victims of numerous types of sanitary pad (and tampon) trauma.

It is thus important that women know the facts so that they can seek safer alternatives - liking using cloth, which is not only safer, but can also be reused many times. (in fact, women have safely relied on home-made menstrual products, using any available absorbent material, for most of history.)

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

my personal take on this info-

Why do I beleive this and where does the info for my belief come from?

from personal use, widespread reports of the same results from others with personal use and the ingredients and chemicals found in the products (like the chlorine they bleach it with and dioxin that we are talking about here) and the known reactions they have on the human body- namely irritation, which when you are irritating the uterus lining leads to longer periods of menstrual bleeding. no they don't use asbestos which is the false rumor that went around however many years ago about tampons and anti-clotting, that however that doesn't make dioxin not a nasty chemical or bleach not an irritating one to be using inserted in or pressed against your female parts. When there are irritants around your uterus it works harder to flush them out... namely by increasing the period of blood flow to try to wash the uterin irritation out- so it makes sense that when the irritation occurs in direct correspondence with your menstrual flow the result would be an increased blood flow. The idea and physiology of it is sound, as is the overwhelming personal experience that most women can attest to (some notice no change or notable change, but i've personally only talked to one mother who hasn't noticed change, and literally hundreds that have, including myself) The same as if you have ever had a uterine infection (and don't those hurt something awful if you have- I did once and i don't wish that on anyone) you know that you more or less hemorrhage the whole time. It's the uterus' way of trying to get rid of the irritation. chlorine and dioxin are both known to irritate the lining f the uterus. one of the first things many women notice when switching from disposable menstrual products to reusable ones is their periods shorten drastically. mine went from 7-10 days to 3-5.

post #3 of 4
Excellent info... Also, it saves you money - which is sometimes that fine line for women not ready to jump on board with reusable options. Disposable Pad or Tampon Cost Pad Calculator. Additionally, many of the companies making disposables test on animals (most of the conventional ones) and thousands of plastic tampon applicators wash up on beaches each year, choking birds and fish, conventional tampons and pads pose huge threats to wildlife and habitat.

There are also tons of options now - just a short list....

post #4 of 4
 Oh! Something should be done before it's too late.
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