On average, a woman will use over 16,000 tampons in her lifetime, yet companies aren’t required to tell you what they put in them. That’s right — unbelievably, no federal law exists which requires disclosure of all ingredients in feminine products. And because of weak laws that allow toxic chemicals to be used in all kinds of personal care products, you are left in the dark about what chemicals you are putting in one of the most absorbent parts of your body.

Women’s health continues to come second for many decision makers. Congress needs to hear from you that your health is nonnegotiable. And on May 23, women from across the country, including me!!, will take this message to Capitol Hill to send Congress a message: It’s time to care about about what we are putting inside our vaginas!

You might be thinking…what’s the big deal anyway?

As citing in the 2013 report, Chem Fatale, 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.

When it comes to toxic chemicals, this means they can also be rapidly absorbed and circulated through the rest of the body. This is especially true of hormone-mimicking chemicals. 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.

Right now, we already know that toxic chemicals like talc, formaldehyde releasers and parabens can be used in feminine wipes, douches, feminine washes and feminine deodorant products. We already know that hidden fragrance chemicals, are ending up in everything from tampons to powders.

We Can Do Better!

Forward-thinking companies like Sustain are already doing the right thing for women by voluntarily disclosing the ingredients used in their products, but we need complete, universal and full disclosure of the ingredients found the products — and furthermore, we need to know that these ingredients are safe.

Some members of Congress are ready to help make this happen. Congresswoman Grace Meng is getting ready to re-introduce her bill that will require full ingredient disclosure of tampons, pads and menstrual cups. Meng is speaking with me at the event on May 23 and will stand together with women from all over the nation to tell Congress that we have the right to know what’s in the products we use in on and around our vaginas. Congress can do their part by enacting a very simple, common-sense law.

Join me, and take a stand!

Whether in person, or in spirit — please join in the fight for your right to know and your right to non-toxic products. Raise your voice! http://www.womensvoices.org/rally-for-safe-feminine-care-products-in-washington-dc/

 

Meika Hollender

Co-Founder, Sustain

Most vagina-related products contain harmful ingredients and put little care into how they affect women’s bodies. We’re changing that.

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