Many brands of menstrual pads and disposable diapers contain elevated levels of chemicals linked to developmental and reproductive harm, according to a recent study published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology.
The study, by a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, looked at 11 brands of menstrual pads and four brands of disposable diapers sold in the U.S. and several European and Asian nations. The brands, which were not identi ed, were tested for four kinds of phthalates and three kinds of volatile organic chemicals, or VOCs.
Babies and women of reproductive age – the groups that most use these products – are particularly susceptible to exposure to chemicals that may harm developmental and reproductive health. The researchers noted: “As sanitary pads and diapers are in direct contact with external genitalia for an extended period, there is a probability that a considerable amount of VOCs or phthalates could be absorbed into the reproductive system.”