At V-CUPS it is our mission to educate women about their feminine hygiene health and empower them to make the best decision for their bodies. How can you make the best decision if you have information being withheld from you? Menstrual cups are made from medical grade silicone and do not contain any harsh chemicals or latex. This is displayed on every menstrual cup package and website. Do you know what ingredients are in a tampon or sanitary pad?
We live in a world that is very health conscious about ingredients. We want to know exactly what is in the food we eat or the makeup we wear, but why hasn't there been a push to disclose the ingredients in the products we are inserting into our bodies? Did you know that tampon and menstrual pad companies are not required to carry a list of ingredients? This is one of the main reasons why women are switching to reusable menstrual cups like V-CUPS.
If tampons and menstrual pads do not contain any harsh chemicals either, then why are the ingredients not proudly listed on their packages? Instead, tampon companies have found a loophole by giving us a suggested ingredient list. They say their products "may" contain rayon, polyester, cotton or a combination of them. Menstrual pad companies rarely put ingredients or suggested ingredient lists on their packaging. Instead, many companies have consumers refer to the company website, there they will find information saying pads contain materials like polyolefin and “absorbent wood cellulose". Polyolefin being listed as an ingredient is cause for concern, because it seems to be umbrella language, a catch-all term. The word polyolefin actually encompasses an extraordinary range of materials, but the average consumer wouldn't know that. So we have questions: Are there chemicals additives being hidden? Why isn't the specific ingredient listed?
While Menstrual cups are becoming increasingly popular, around 70% of women prefer to use tampons and pads, and everyone has a right to know what they are putting into their bodies. Last month Representative Grace Meng, Democrat of New York, introduced a bill called the Menstrual Products Right to Know Act, which would require companies who produce feminine hygiene products – including menstrual cups, tampons and pads – to list their ingredients on the package.
Another women who is fighting for the cause is Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat from New York. Ms. Maloney has reintroduced a bill directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research to assess whether chemicals used in feminine hygiene products pose health risks.
This will be the 10th time the bill has been introduced to legislation, and many fear that the prospects for both bills most likely are dim, given the current political atmosphere.
So, what can you do to help? Proponents are convinced the rallies and proposed legislation can leverage public support to create change. Tampons and pads can contain undisclosed ingredients linked to cancer, reproductive harm, and irritation. With full ingredient disclosure you can avoid ingredients that may harm your health or cause irritation.
Women's Voices For The Earth is an organization that has been established with the mission to eliminate toxic chemicals from everyday products. They have set up an online form for you to fill out to write to your local representative to support the Menstrual Products Right to Know Act! Take action today and help us create the change we want to see!