Women’s Voice for the Earth & Seventh Generation are reporting that Representative Grace Meng is planning to re-introduce a bill to require the disclosure of the ingredients used in feminine products. Below are some Q&A for information.
What’s the big deal anyway?
Vaginal tissue is very sensitive, which means we should be extra careful about what’s coming into contact with it. The walls of the vagina are filled with numerous blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, which allows for direct transfer of chemicals in to the circulatory system. In fact, there is considerable interest in vaginal drug delivery systems because the vagina is such an effective site to transfer drugs directly into the blood without being metabolized first.
One study found that a vaginally applied dose of estradiol (an estrogen proxy) resulted in systemic estradiol levels in the body 10 to 80 times greater compared to the same dose given orally. So, you should really know what the heck is in the products you use around the vagina.
The whole truth.
Right now, some companies tell you a little bit about what’s in their products. While tampon and pad manufacturers aren’t required to disclose ingredients, many do include some basic information on their packages about the ingredients — unless they use fragrance. A ‘fragrance’ in a product can be made up of 50-200 different ingredients, many for which health data simply doesn’t exist. This black box means that you could be exposing your body to fragrance ingredients without even knowing it.
We can do better.
Forward-thinking companies are already doing the right thing for women by voluntarily disclosing the ingredients used in their products. And leaders like Seventh Generation are taking the extra step to advocate for transparency industry-wide by co-sponsoring a rally in May.
Together, on May 23, women concerned about their health will stand alongside business leaders and tell Congress that we have the right to know what’s in the products we use so intimately. Congress can do their part by enacting a very simple, common-sense law.