Truth In Advertising

Buyer beware! It’s perhaps a phrase wrought with hyperbole, but there can be no doubt that medical professionals and consumers are faced with many claims. “Organic”, “Green”, “Clean” or “Natural” carry strong connotations for physicians looking to help patients feel better and for OTC shoppers who seek relief if a non-toxic form. Every company that manufacturers products for women’s wellness has to determine where its truth lies. Our goal with our Good Clean Love products is to be fully transparent and help educate those who make critical recommendations or decisions about what to put in or on their bodies.

Lack Of Standards Clouds Feminine Hygiene Marketplace

Consumers may assume their personal care products to be safe and tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but to-date the industry remains largely unregulated. In 1938 the FDA passed the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act which set out to ensure the safety of food, drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics. Unfortunately, regulations have remained relatively unchanged, and there continues to be little enforcement.

The proliferation of questionable feminine care products have exposed women to an onslaught of potentially harmful chemicals. In 2013, Alexandra Scranton from Women’s Voices for the Earth shed light on feminine care products and the potential dangers surrounding them. In response to her findings, consumers are now told to avoid cleaning the vagina as it can self-regulate itself.

Under present regulations, the responsibility of product safety falls on the consumer or on the medical professional that person has trusted with her well-being. Some companies, though not all, continue to make claims about their products being natural, plant-based, clean, or nontoxic. However, there remains no legal basis or uniform standards to support many of these claims. Without a clear set of rules or standards for companies and manufacturers to follow, consumers must navigate an ever-changing landscape on their quest to live healthier and happier lives.

Feminine Hygiene Products May Be Source of Toxic Chemicals

recent study published in Journal of Women’s Health evaluated blood concentrations in 2,432 women to measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in feminine hygiene products (FHP).

In the study, vaginal douching and feminine powder hygiene practices were specifically examined. VOC blood concentrations of 1,4-dichlorobenzene were as high as 81% in douching users; and for ethylbenzene (found in feminine powder) as high as 36% in frequent users of both practices compared to never and occasional users.

VOCs are associated with neurological disorders and reproductive health issues, and long-term exposure may lead to cancer. VOCs are found in many consumer products such as fragrance, air fresheners, nail polish, and deodorants. The article mentions Women’s Voices for Earth (WVE), an organization whose 2014 toxicity report found styrene, chloromethane, and chloroform in feminine care products.

The study hypothesizes that FHP and practices may lead to increased VOC exposure, and concludes that further research is needed to measure VOC concentrations in vaginal care products.

More Resources: Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds and Use of Feminine Hygiene Products Among Reproductive-Aged Women in the United States

Ning Ding, Stuart Batterman, and Sung Kyun Park
Journal of Women's Health, January 2020