New Patent Analysis Shows Toxic Risk From Tampons - WRBL

New Patent Analysis Shows Toxic Risk From Tampons

Posted:

This article was originally distributed via PRWeb. PRWeb, WorldNow and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

SOURCE:

Women's Voices examines patent data on harmful chemicals in common products.

Missoula, MT (PRWEB) July 14, 2014

New research and analysis from the national women's health organization Women's Voices for the Earth examines toxic ingredients in tampons, a product used by the vast majority of women nationwide, including specific chemicals that may be found in the products absorptive materials, as well as additives and fragrances that may put womens health at risk.

According to WVEs director of science and research, Alexandra Scranton, the potential impact of toxic chemical exposure from tampons on health is significant because they are used internally, in direct contact to some of the most sensitive and absorptive skin on a woman's body.

Despite the widespread use of tampons by numerous women, relatively little research has been conducted to assess the health impacts of chemical exposure from these products, Scranton said.

Vaginal tissue is lined with permeable mucous membranes, which protect the body from bacteria, but which can also easily absorb or be irritated by other chemicals, Scranton said, adding that vaginal tissues are filled with blood vessels and thus are a direct route for chemicals to be absorbed into the bloodstream. She cited a study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that showed that hormone chemicals, like estrogen, are absorbed vaginally at 10-80 times the rate that the same dose would be absorbed orally.

Whats in a Tampon Anyway?
Scrantons research shows that while manufacturers disclose the main components of tampons, the list usually looks something like this: Rayon and/or cotton fiber, polyethylene overwrap, cotton cord, cardboard applicator. Whats missing is the disclosure of the other potential absorptive materials, additives, fragrances, and potential contaminants that can be found in tampons. Public patent documents acquired by WVE and held by tampon and pad manufacturer Procter & Gamble (US Patent #6,840,927) indicate a number of other chemicals they may be adding to tampons, including:

  •     Creped cellulose wadding
  •     Meltblown polymers
  •     Chemically-stiffened fibers, polyester fibers, peat moss, foam
  •     Tissue wraps and laminates
  •     Super absorbent gels and open-celled foams

Examples of additives that may be used in tampons include:

  •     Myreth-3-myristate (as lubricant) (US Patent # 5,591,123)
  •     Natural and synthetic zeolites (as odor-absorbing particles) (US Patent # 5,161,686)
  •     Alcohol ethoxylates
  •     Glycerol esters, polysorbate-20 (as surfactants to disperse fragrance)
  •     Unnamed anti-bacterial agents (US Patent # 8,585,668)

Scented tampons are infused with fragrance, which could be made up of combinations of any of nearly 3,000 different chemicals. Examples of potentially harmful chemicals that have been found in fragrance include:

  •     Cancer-causing chemicals including: styrene, pyridine, methyleugenol, butylated hydroxyanisole
  •     Phthalates of concern (DEP and DINP)
  •     Synthetic musks (potential hormone disruptors)
  •     Numerous allergens.

Scranton's analysis also showed that contaminants can occur in tampons from the processing of individual components. Dioxins and furans are contaminants that come from chlorine bleaching of cotton and have been linked to cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption. Additional studies have confirmed that tampons contain low levels of dioxins and furans. While the studies generally conclude that the health risk from exposure to dioxins and furans from tampon use is insignificant compared to the risk of exposure to dioxins and furans we get from eating food, Scranton said women deserve to know all of the ingredients they are inserting into their bodies.

The discussion of the impacts of exposure did not address the application or location of the exposure, she explained. While the overall contribution of dioxins and furans to a womans blood stream may be minor compared to contributions from the food supply, the health impacts of direct exposure of dioxins and furans to vaginal tissue needs greater examination.

Lastly, WVEs research analysis shows pesticide residues can contaminate tampons made from traditionally grown cotton, including Procymidon, which EPA has determined to be a probable human carcinogen, and piperonyl butoxide, which has been determined to be a possible human carcinogen.

The biggest problem is the lack of research on this topic, Scranton said. Given the widespread use of these products by women across their lifetime, greater scrutiny is clearly needed.

WVE suggests women concerned about toxic chemicals in feminine products purchase unscented, unbleached tampons, and look for companies like the ones in their No Secrets feminine care coalition of companies that list all of their ingredients and make products without toxic chemicals.

Sources:
International Fragrance Association (IFRA) (2013) IFRA Survey: Transparency List. Available at: http://www.ifraorg.org/en-us/ingredients

DeVito, MJ and Schecter, A. (2002) Exposure assessment to dioxins from the use of tampons and diapers. Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 110, No. 1, pp:23-28. Jan. 2002.

DeVito, MJ and Schecter, A. (2002) Exposure assessment to dioxins from the use of tampons and diapers. Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 110, No. 1, pp:23-28. Jan. 2002.

Archer JC., Mabry-Smith R., Shojaee S., Threet J., Eckert JJ. and Litman VE. (2005) Dioxin and Furan Levels Found in Tampons. Journal of Women's Health. Vol. 14, No. 4. 2005.

Naturally Savvy (2013). http://naturallysavvy.com/care/is-there-pesticide-residue-on-your-tampons-our-independent-testing-gets-specific

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/07/prweb12010165.htm

Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. WorldNow and this Station make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you have any questions or comments about this page please contact pressreleases@worldnow.com.

Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.