France 5 Documentary Exposes Menstrual Product Industry’s Toxic Truth

France’s channel 5 documentary, Tampon, notre ennemi intime (Tampons, our intimate enemy), has shocked menstruators across France by exposing big corporate menstrual product providers. There is alarm and concern over potentially toxic chemicals these tampons contain, possibly in favour of profit.

Journalists from France 5 have conducted their own investigation and the results are alarming. Dioxins (classed as carcinogenic by the WHO) or phthalates (endocrine disruptors) can be found in tampons and are known to be hazardous to health. And a survey of “60 million consumers” unveiled in February 2016 showed the presence of pesticides in a surprisingly large number of menstrual hygiene products.

Natracare organic cotton tampons were tested too – and no pesticides, phthalates or dioxin residues were found.

In February 2016, a young French woman, Mélanie Doerflinger, launched a petition, signed by nearly 260,000 people, to put pressure on Tampax to reveal the ingredients in its tampons. Procter & Gamble announced they would reveal what Tampax tampons contain by spring 2017… but it’s likely to be a worrying list.

Materials, and by extension chemicals of concern present in many tampons, and notably, that we point blank refuse to use are:

  • Chlorine-bleached Rayon (of which dioxin is the by-product)
  • GM cotton
  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyester
  • Perfume
  • Dyes

Tampons don’t need any extra ingredients to help manage periods – just chemical free, clean organic cotton. Outrageously, menstrual product manufacturers are under no obligation to list their ingredients, and indeed, most refuse to. It’s infuriating that we know what’s in our soap, shampoos and food (at least in Europe), but when it comes to our most intimately used products of all – tampons – we are kept in the dark.

Studies have shown that 100% cotton tampons are less likely to cause TSS than rayon/cotton blends. So why are manufacturers still insisting on these ingredients when they’ve been proven to be less safe? Natracare tampons are made only with organic, 100% cotton.

The France 5 documentary is available to viewers in France. Natracare has been providing organic and natural alternatives for periods since 1989, and has tirelessly campaigned for more transparency in the menstrual products industry for 30 years. Join our cause.

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