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Report confirms safety of feminine hygiene products

Swedish Chemicals Agency study confirms that the risk of negative effects on health from chemicals in feminine hygiene products is low.

10th August 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Brussels


A report released this week by the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) confirmed that the risk of negative effects on health from chemicals in feminine hygiene products is low. The study determined and analysed the chemical substances in 35 different sanitary towels, tampons, panty liners and menstrual cups.

Part of the Swedish Government’s assignment to map hazardous chemical substances in products and articles that are available to the general public, the agency conducted a survey of hazardous chemical substances in feminine hygiene products.

In the survey the agency conducted studies of literature and qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses of 35 different feminine hygiene products, studying what hazardous chemical substances the products contain and in what concentrations.

“We analysed a total of 62 chemical substances. Among these we found 21 hazardous chemical substances mainly in low concentrations and none of the substances are prohibited in these types of products. By low concentrations in this report, we mean concentrations of less than 0.1% weight by weight. In one of the menstrual cups, one of the substances was found at a concentration of 0.2% weight by weight. Altogether, this means that 41 of the substances were not found at all in the feminine hygiene products that we analysed in concentrations above the reporting limit,” the report summarises.

“We carried out a general risk assessment for 18 of the substances. For three of the substances, there is currently insufficient toxicological data available to conduct a risk assessment. In the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s judgement, the risk of negative health effects from exposure to chemical substances in feminine hygiene products is low for the 18 products for which we were able to conduct a risk assessment. This means that we conclude that people can continue to use these feminine hygiene products without worrying about their health.”

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