Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"The Potential Unseen Hazards of Today’s Feminine Hygiene Protection"▲▲

The average American woman uses up to 16,800 tampons in her lifetime – or as many as 24,360 if she's on estrogen replacement therapy.
And that's just tampons…
Many women use countless sanitary pads in place of, or in addition to tampons. When this same 'average' woman has a baby, she might also use maternity and nursing pads.
Something you wear so intimately and with such regularity, wouldn't you want to know for sure it's safe? You may be thinking, what could possibly not be safe with feminine hygiene products?
They're whiter-than-white pure and clean, right?
This is an area that I admittedly haven't previously been very involved with until recently. After thoroughly investigating the topic, I have to admit I was shocked.
In my opinion, the realm of feminine hygiene is like a "ticking time bomb."
And for you men out there, don't go away just yet.
The women in your life – your partner, your sister, your mother, your daughter – they may need this information, too. It's up to you to pass it on to them.

Why Feminine Hygiene Products May NOT Be
"Protecting" In All Respects

Are there potential, unsuspected risks from feminine hygiene products? For decades, women have trusted their favorite feminine hygiene products to protect them from leaks.
And certainly, when you scan feminine hygiene product ads, "protection" does seem to be today's buzzword.
No doubt, you receive absorbency protection. In fact, that's something the FDA ensures.
However, could it be that in the process of "protecting" you from leaks, your feminine hygiene products may potentially be subjecting you to an unexpected risk?
A risk that you never bargained for – or haven't been warned about.
The good news is… it's a potential risk that you can avoid, if you so choose.
I bet that after you discover what I've learned, you'll never think about "protection" the same way again.
Let's get started…

The Largest – and Most Absorbent Organ in Your Body

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. And it happens to be the most absorbent.
A substance you place on your skin may be able to pass right through it, straight into your bloodstream.
Take hormonal or seasickness patches for example. They work because your skin absorbs most of what it comes in contact with.
Vaginal tissue — an exceptionally absorbent area – is no exception.
Because of your vagina's ability to absorb substances, healthy or otherwise, it is a sound health practice to give your skin – and your most intimate areas – the same thoughtful care you give your internal organs. You certainly wouldn't deliberately eat toxins that might harm you.

How Today's Feminine Hygiene Products
May Be Jeopardizing Your Health

When asked what their tampons and sanitary pads are made from, I'm guessing most women would respond "cotton".
In my opinion, the feminine hygiene industry has done a terrific job deceiving and misinforming women, freely using words such as "cotton-soft" and "cottony feel" in slick advertising campaigns.
The truth is, today's feminine hygiene products are made mostly from rayon, vicose, and cellulose wood fluff pulp… and not from cotton.
And that just may be the source of the problem…
  • Rayon is made from cellulose fibers derived from bleached wood pulp.
  • Viscose is a form of wood cellulose acetate that's fabricated to have a pleasing cotton-like touch.
  • Fluff pulp is manufactured from tree wood and is the major filler used in conventional sanitary pads.
Don't be fooled. None of these tree-derived substances come close to natural cotton.
Rayon and viscose present a potential danger in part because of their highly absorbent fibers. When used in tampons, these fibers can stick to your vaginal wall, and when you remove the tampon, the loosened fibers stay behind inside your body.
Take a moment and try this quick experiment. Grab one of your tampons and remove it from its wrapper and applicator. Pull it open flat. Give the inside fibers a tug with your fingers.
Notice how the fibers begin to break apart? Do this over a dark piece of cloth or paper, and you'll notice lint and dusty fiber particles falling from the tampon.
These are the fibers that may stay behind in your body when you remove a tampon.

How the Toxic Bleaching Process Could Affect Your Health

Toxic Feminine Hygiene Products
A by-product of industry and pesticides, Dioxin is a close relative of poisonous Agent Orange Rayon is most commonly bleached with chlorine.
And whenever you bleach something with chlorine, there is a possibility of creating the toxic carcinogens, dioxin and disinfection-by-products (DBP's) such as trihalomethane.
Dioxin, in the same family as Agent Orange, is found in the air, water, and ground, thanks to decades of pollution.
It's a by-product of pesticide spraying, pollution from incinerators, and the production of paper and rayon products such as coffee filters, toilet paper, disposable diapers, and even possibly, feminine hygiene products.
Studies show that dioxin collects in the fatty tissues of animals and humans. And published reports show that even low or trace levels of dioxins may be linked to:
  • Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
  • Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
  • Immune system suppression
  • Hormonal and endocrine system disruption

Do YOUR Tampons and Pads Contain Dioxin and
Chlorine Disinfection By-Products?

A recently released draft report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labels dioxin a serious public health threat. The EPA report states there is no "safe" level of exposure to dioxin – even trace amounts are a risk as they accumulate in tissue.
And dioxin has an "extremely long half-life" in that it may remain in your body for as long as 7 to 11 years. There's no consensus on the exact number as it may vary depending upon your percentage of body fat.
The FDA's official stand regarding trace amounts of dioxins is this: There's no health risk expected from any trace amount of dioxins in tampons.
I don't fully agree with this. In my opinion, the mere possibility of any trace levels of dioxin in pads and tampons may be a concern, considering the repeated contact with delicate and absorbent vaginal tissue.
In fact, a leading doctor of microbiology and immunology at a major university medical center has stated "dioxins, though they exist in the environment, have a worse effect when they contact mucous surfaces like the vagina."
However, you will likely not hear much about this issue as surprisingly the FDA has concluded that there is no health risk expected from dioxins in tampons and pads. According to the FDA…
"State-of-the-art testing of tampons and tampon materials that can detect even trace amounts of dioxin has shown that dioxin levels are at or below the detectable limit."
The FDA Statement on Tampons and Asbestos, Dioxin and Toxic Shock Syndrome further states:
"While there may have been a problem in the past with chlorine bleaching, rayon raw material used in U.S. tampons is now produced using elemental chlorine-free or totally chlorine-free bleaching processes."
What exactly are these "chlorine-free bleaching processes" that they use today? Let's take a closer look…
The FDA goes on to explain…
"Elemental chlorine-free bleaching refers to methods that do not use elemental chlorine gas to purify the wood pulp. These methods include the use of chlorine dioxide as the bleaching agent as well as totally chlorine-free processes. Some elemental chlorine-free bleaching processes can theoretically generate dioxins at extremely low levels, and dioxins are occasionally detected in trace amounts in mill effluents and pulp." (Emphasis added)

More Than Just Potential Dioxin and Disinfection By-Products…
You May Find Petrochemicals in Tampons, too

Consider the applicator used in your favorite brand of tampon. If it's plastic, you're exposing your body to plastic material every time you insert a tampon, and that plastic could potentially be dangerous.
If it's cardboard, take a moment to notice the nice glossy finish that makes it smooth to the touch.
That shiny finish comes from phthalates – chemical plasticizers used in many items, including pills, children's toys, medical devices and personal care products, such as perfumes, liquid soap, nail polish and hair spray.
Phthalates, along with many plastics, are known "endocrine disruptors" because they interfere with normal endocrine system function – potentially leading to obesity and birth defects.

The NEW Generation of Potentially Toxic Sanitary Pads

As for sanitary pads, today we're seeing a whole new generation of products made from petrochemicals.
Conventional sanitary pads are made from over 90 percent plastic derived from crude oil, including superabsorbent polyacrylates, polypropylene and polyethylene.
Synthetics and plastic restrict the free flow of air and can trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting the growth of yeast and bacteria in your vaginal area.
Labels such as "non-woven" are just fancy-talk for petrochemicals. These types of pads likely don't allow air to pass through.
The use of synthetic fibers, plastic-backed panty liners, and contact with toxic chemicals can lead to burning and soreness of delicate tissue in certain individuals, especially if you are susceptible to allergies.

Why Feminine Hygiene Manufacturers Haven't Told You About This

Many of these products have been used for decades. Why haven't you heard of these potential dangers before now?
First off, logically, the manufacturers are unlikely to tell you given their interest in selling their product. And, the sanitary pad industry is not required to disclose ingredients, including chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
Manufacturers frequently hire their own researchers to conduct research. And, sadly, those research results are all that the FDA sees, regardless of outcome.
In fact, the FDA's reassurances to the public are based on the data given to them by the product manufactures themselves.
Just as it's documented in the drug industry, the feminine hygiene industry can, in theory, spin the results of their "research" to whatever they want.
Incidentally, the Tampon Safety and Research Act of 1999 called upon the U.S. Congress to require independent testing of feminine hygiene products and a disclosure of ingredients used in the manufacturing process.
To date, no tests have been conducted and there's still no public disclosure of all the ingredients used.

Another Potential Problem with Tampons You Need to Know About…

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