Are you still using sanitary pads? Here’s what is in them!

reusable period cup

In India where there are innumerable myths surrounding menstruation, where even buying sanitary pads seems shameful, how do you ask for the ingredients in the pads? Though now it has become less awkward for the urban Indian millennial to go and purchase a sanitary napkin, knowing what is in the sanitary napkin is more important.

Do you know that sanitary pad manufacturing companies aren’t bound by the law to clearly mention the ingredients on the packet because female sanitary pads are labeled as “medical products” and are exempted from the ingredient listing?

What are the official standards of sanitary pads?

In India, the standards for menstrual cups are not updated since the 1980s. In fact, experts believe that the standards are so outdated and lenient that all the pads even of the meagerest possible quality can pass the standard.

The standards are so basic that they just see whether the pad surface is soft or rough, smooth or lumpy, etc. The toxicity of the ingredients present in sanitary napkins does not even make to the list.

The content of sanitary napkins

Usually, each sanitary napkin is made up of five core layers:

  • The cover stock
  • The distribution and acquisition layers
  • The core absorbent layer
  • Back sheet of the napkin, and
  • Siliconized paper

The efficiency of sanitary pads generally depends on their ability to absorb and the absorbent core has superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) in the form of granules with cellulosic fiber matric. There are these dioxins that are used to bleach the material used for making absorbent core and the dioxins are responsible for PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), immune system damage, ovarian cancer, impaired fertility, and more.

The synthetic plastic materials and the liquid absorbents in sanitary napkins to improve the softness and functionality of the sanitary pads often release Volatile organic compounds as well as endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Sanitary pads may seem innocuous, but they are laced with petrochemicals, dioxins, GMOs, and fragrances that irritate the sensitive tissue when they come in contact with the skin. The dioxins have potential carcinogenic properties that can become the risk of cancer and cause Toxic Shock syndrome even at very low levels of exposure.

What is the solution?

You might be wondering that if pads have such harmful chemicals and toxins, then what a better alternative is. Well, for years women have been stuck with the archaic, antiquated methods of personal hygiene that are governed by society.

Women still use disposable methods of period management, because either they are unaware of menstrual cups, or they don’t trust the process followed by menstrual cups.

Unlike sanitary pads that harm the environment and cause irritation to the intimate area, organic menstrual cups are a cleaner and greener alternative. Using a reusable period cup is cost-effective and unlike pads, they are made from medical-grade silicone that isn’t harmful in any form. Menstrual cups stay firm and they don’t affect you adversely in any way.

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