Women’s Voices for the Earth has some answers and lots of questions in a new report of the same name, here.
Here are some of the report’s “main findings,” as summarized by WVE (here).
- Ingredient information is now standard on period product packages – this is a significant change in 2021 compared to just a year prior. More information is available on chemical exposures from period products in the U.S. than ever before.
- Numerous additives to period products are now being disclosed for the first time, indicating that chemical exposure from period products is much more complicated than previously assumed.
- There are ingredients newly disclosed in period products – which are of concern to users – including chemicals which can cause skin irritation, cause allergic reactions, which may contain toxic contaminants that can cause cancer, and which release microplastic particles into the environment.
- Compliance with the NY law is not perfect. A few products evaluated in this field study were found not to disclose ingredients at all. More frequently, compliance with the labeling law was incomplete, with only vague descriptions of ingredients disclosed. We found that actual chemical names of ingredients were commonly omitted, with descriptions of ingredient functions such as “fragrance”, “adhesive”,“surfactant” or “ink” disclosed instead. The intentionally added ingredients which provide for these functions must be disclosed in compliance with the NY law.
- All manufacturers have room to improve to provide useful ingredient information to their customers. The ideal period product ingredient disclosure should include the chemical name and function of the ingredient, and the component of the product where the ingredient can be found.
- The NY law is having a national impact. We commonly found products in other states with ingredient disclosures on the package similar or identical to what is required in New York, affording period product users across the country the right to know what is in their products.
Read the full report here.
I’m less sanguine than WVE about the effectiveness of severely hobbled disclosure laws, as New York’s is, but time will tell. I’d love to be wrong.