Many women are jumping at the opportunity to incorporate reusable menstrual products with the expanding options with clear environmental and financial benefits. However, scientist Graham Peaslee from the University of Notre Dame is raising concerns for women with his discovery of polyfluoroalkly substances(PFAS) within the lining of Thinx menstrual underwear.
The ‘organic’ labelled underwear were providing women with a comfortable alternative to pads and tampons that work through absorbent lining in the crotch of the underwear. There was a strong market for their product and many more brands with the same concept have begun as a result. However, when Jessica Choy sent her Thinx underwear to Peaslee for toxic chemical testing the results were disturbing with high levels of PFAS. This chemical can be build up inhuman tissue and increase risks of cancer, thyroid disease and decrease fertility in women as well as being harmful in pregnancy.
These findings have left many women feeling confused and concerned over the transparency of products.
Thinx has since responded with their own test reports however many are not taking chances with the potential risks associated with PFAS. Women are calling for better transparency within the period care industry and thorough third-party testing of products that have the potential to cause harm.
Women have the right to a comfortable period with products that they can feel confident to use without the possibility of unknown toxic chemicals, while there is some conflicting evidence within this case it is clear more needs to be done to ensure companies are protecting women’s health.