What’s in Your Period Product? An Investigation of Ingredients Disclosed on Product Labels

www.womensvoices.org

Period products are used on and in highly sensitive and absorptive parts of our bodies, which makes
it important to understand the potential chemical exposures associated with their use. Until recently, information about ingredients, components or additives used in period products was largely unavailable from manufacturers. Chemical testing in the last ten years raised concerns as toxic volatile organic compounds, phthalates, and other chemicals of concern have been identified in these products. But, efforts to better understand these chemical exposures from specific period products (or to identify safer alternatives) were hampered by the general lack of ingredient information from manufacturers. Over the last few years, however, there have been significant advances in ingredient transparency in

the period product industry. As a result of market campaigns and clearly expressed user demand, manufacturers gradually began voluntarily providing more information about what these products were made of. Then, in 2019 the New York State legislature passed the first law in the country requiring disclosure of all intentionally added ingredients in period products on the label – a law which went into effect in October 2021. This law specifically includes disclosure of ingredients in any products used to collect or absorb menstrual discharge including (but not limited to) tampons, pads, menstrual underwear, menstrual cups, and discs. From November 2021 – February 2022, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) conducted a eld study examining ingredient disclosures on period product labels both in New York and across the United States. This report examines the findings of that field study.

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