Several brands of tampons and sanitary towels sold in France have been found to contain toxic chemicals.
Tampax tampons and Always sanitary towels (both owned by Proctor & Gamble) are among the feminine hygiene products that may contain potentially toxic residues according to a study by 60 Millions de Consommateurs magazine.
The study found traces of chemicals including dioxins and insecticides in five out of eleven products tested.
The Independent reports: The findings caused a brand manufacturing “organic” feminine hygiene products to recall a batch of 3,100 boxes of sanitary towels on sale in France and Canada.
Corman, which makes Organyc panty liners, told the AFP news agency it conducted its own analysis that confirmed the trace amounts of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer, in its cotton-based products.
There has been extensive debate over whether the widely used chemical is carcinogenic and the firm said the move was merely a “precaution” while it investigates its supply chain.
“We don’t think it is dangerous, it’s simply a precautionary measure, because our priority is the safety and health of our consumers,” a spokesperson said
Researchers at 60 Millions also claimed to have found traces of halogenated waste, a by-product related to the processing of raw materials, in Tampax Compak Active Regular Fresh tampons and residues of organochlorine pesticides and pyrethroid insecticides in some Always sanitary towels.
Highly toxic dioxins, which can be cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems and damage the immune system, according to the World Health Organisation, were also found in products by the o.b and Nett brands.
The report has caused France’s National Institution for Consumers to demand the government enforces stricter controls on feminine hygiene products and greater transparency around labelling, The Local reported.
Meanwhile, a petition started last year calling for companies to list all components to make women fully aware of any potential health risks has reached almost 190,000 signatures.
Mélanie Doerflinger, who launched the petition, told BFM TV: “When we buy cosmetic products we can get information on what they contain and how they are made, but when it comes to something we use every day that is in contact with our intimate parts, we have no knowledge of what is in it.”
A study last year by researchers at the Argentine University of La Plata (UNLP) found Glyphosate in 85% of cotton containing personal care and feminine hygiene products.
The herbicide glyphosate ( best known as Roundup by Monsanto) is considered by the World Heath Organization to be a ‘probable’ carcinogen.