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What's In Your Period Products?

Let's Learn About What's In Your Period Products

Guest Blog by Nicole Wojnicki

You go to a drug store and pick up the first box of period products you see because none of the products have an ingredients list. No big deal, they're all the same products, right? Most pads and tampons have the same questionable ingredients, the most prominent being wood pulp. So let's learn a little more about the ingredients you'd commonly find.

Polyester

Polyester, a material your clothes also found in period products. This material used to make tampon cords or a layer to absorb fluid in sanitary napkins. Polyester, a synthetic fiber means the ingredients used to make polyester are not natural or eco-friendly. Even worse, its derived from petroleum and according to Sewport, not biodegradable. Feel itchy after removing a tampon or pad? It could be the polyester irritating the area. According to Prominent Emporium, polyester has dangerous after effects. When drying synthetic sheets, you release chemicals into your home and the environment. Imagine what the body absorbs when putting in a tampon or wearing a pad made from polyester. This video helps explain what's polyester, why it's not biodegradable and how it's harmful to you and the environment.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene is an interesting ingredient. According to Creative Mechanisms, you'll find this in textiles, packaging and plastic parts for various industries, one of them being the automotive industry. So what exactly is an ingredient for car parts doing in period products? Used to absorb liquid and just like polyester, derived from petroleum. A study referenced in a Healthline article, done by Environmental Science and Technology found a particular product could be toxic because of the manufacturing process. They go on to say "some polypropylene products affected androgen hormones and caused a toxic or stress response in cells." Feel even more anxious during your period? Probably the polypropylene.

Titanium Dioxide

Did you know that this ingredient is toxic? Titanium dioxide is an ingredient found in sunscreen. According to EWG Skin Deep, a website that breaks down ingredients, titanium dioxide has multiple "government, industry or academic studies or assessments” claiming the link to cancer. Even worse, these companies aren't disclosing that this ingredient is found in pads and tampons. According to foodnavigator.com, this ingredient is no longer safe in Europe because of the fact that it can cause cancer. The US however still considers it safe to consume and put in products. Make sure you carefully look at ingredients in period products because this ingredient could be lurking somewhere. 

Rayon

Rayon is quite an interesting fabric found in period products. It is mainly used for making clothing, medical bandages, bed sheets and carpets. Unfortunately, rayon's found in your tampons and pads. Made from eucalyptus trees and goes through a process involving a lot of chemicals that can be toxic to humans and the environment. Even worse, it's made from wood pulp. This means not only are period products filled with toxic chemicals, it also contains some extra wood pulp. Your average period product brands are aware that rayon is a processed chemical product. Look at the ingredients of organic brands, you'll see that it still has ingredients you can't pronounce but rayon is missing. So even though they say that their products are safe to use, they're really not. It only proves rayon is a chemical substance that's absorbed into the body. Now onto the main ingredient in pads, tampons and rayon.

Wood Pulp

Here is the biggest ingredient that can be found in any and all period products, wood pulp. Many products claim that wood pulp helps absorb in period products. If you're curious as to what wood pulp exactly is, here's a picture:

This is wood chips found in many period products. According to Public Goods, "wood pulp is a lignocellulosic fibrous material that is produced by separating cellulose fibers from wood, fiber crops or waste paper." Wood chips, produced mechanically or chemically are found in some food products as well. Meaning wood chips absolutely are not organic or sustainable to the environment.

How do you know if your products really are organic and natural? Test them out, send an email to the brands asking to put an ingredients list on their packaging or purchase Maxim period products. Our products are 100% organic cotton with absolutely no wood pulp or rayon period. At Maxim, we believe the quality of period products is of utmost importance for the health of women. We don't hide our ingredients, we proudly list what they're made from. All our materials are environmentally friendly, breathable when you need them to be and will still be able to hold your period like a wood pulp or chemically derived pad would.