What Is A Menstrual Pad Made Of?
As more women are becoming informed consumers and learning about what's in the food we eat, the water we drink or the clothes we wear; it is natural for one to wonder what exactly their menstrual protection is made of. This is especially true because this menstrual product is in contact with delicate skin for hours at a time. You may have discovered that when you try to read the labels of different brands of period pads that the materials they use to make pads can be surprisingly vague or might be omitted altogether. We believe that every woman has a right to know what she is putting on her body so here is a list of materials that can be generally found in most big name pad products. Please note that this list is not comprehensive and the materials each manufacturer uses can vary significantly.
When researching on what a menstrual pad is made of, the first thing that is obvious is the synthetic fibers used. By use of a simple experiment of burning a conventional menstrual pad, a lot of black smoke and thick residue is left behind. The amount released is equivalent to burning 4 plastic bags, clearly indicating that dioxins and synthetics are used in its manufacture.
Foam and Infinicel
By law sanitary pad manufacturers aren't actually required to disclose the materials they incorporate in their feminine hygiene products because they are considered "medical devices". When asked about the ingredients in their pads, a customer service agent for Procter & Gamble was only authorized to mention two: foam and infinicel. Infinicel is described as a patented ingredient made up of a highly absorbent material that can hold up to 10 times its actual weight in menstrual flow.
A substance known as phthalate is responsible for giving tampon applicators a smooth finish and feel for all wearers. Another plasticizing chemical, DEHP, is used to soften plastics, which makes the menstrual pads wearable with little to no discomfort. Odor neutralizers in the form of fragrances are also used but unlike conventional fragrances that are organic, chemical additives are added to ensure that the fragrances stay the whole day. This in addition to the synthetic plasticizing chemicals used that restrict air flow, as they need to trap menstrual liquid, but also end up creating dampness and heat, leading to bacterial and yeast growth.
Another ingredient that is found when researching what is in a conventional menstrual pad is large amounts of chlorine. Chlorine in this case is used to give sanitary towels that clean, white look. With the other fibers apart from the foam and the infinicel needing a lot of bleach, the amounts used cannot be accounted for. In addition, disinfection-by-products like trihalomethane is used to make the toxicity in the pads minimal, although it itself in such amounts is considered toxic. With its use, cases of abnormal tissue growth in the reproductive system and abdomen have been reported. The immune system is also suppressed and does not work to its full potential as the hormonal imbalance rises.
With much more yet to be discovered in what menstrual pads are really made of, the little known facts may be alarming to you in every sense. Luckily, you have options like PantyProp's period panties. They are made with a 100% organic cotton built-in liner that can more than accommodate your menstrual flow on light days. For those heavier days, PantyProp period panties can be used in conjunction with whatever menstrual protection product you choose--from menstrual cups to sea sponges to conventional menstrual pads to organic menstrual pads--PantyProp's got you covered.