The purpose of this article is to promote awareness of the toxic chemical dioxin and rayon in sanitary napkins and tampons. Also, this article will address alternatives to sanitary napkins that contain dioxin and rayon (such as cloth napkins and dioxin free napkins produced by Winalite).
What is Dioxin?
According to the foodsafety.gov website, “Dioxin refers to a group of chemical compounds that share certain chemical structures and biological characteristics.” The most toxic dioxins are, 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Dioxins are an unintentional by product as a result of human manufacturing activities. Dioxins can be created through combustion processes. Some examples of combustion processes are municipal waste incineration, burning fossil fuels, and from chlorine bleaching of pulp and paper.
Dioxin and Rayon in Tampons and Sanitary Napkins
Trace amounts of dioxin and rayon are contained in sanitary napkins and tampons. Traditional tampons and sanitary napkins manufactured in the United States are made of cotton, rayon, or blends of rayon and cotton. Rayon is produced from cellulose fibers from wood pulp. In the past, dioxin was created from the bleaching process of wood pulp material. Current methods of bleaching now use elemental chlorine-free r 100% chlorine free bleaching processes. According to the fda.gov website, “state-of-the art testing of tampons and tampon materials that can detect even trace amounts of dioxin has shown that dioxin levels are at or below the detectable limit.”
The FDA regulates tampon manufacturers by asking them to provide information about their pulp purification processes. The FDA websites states that currently, “the detectable limit for dioxin detection is approximately .1 to 1 parts per trillion of dioxin.” Using the dioxin detection test limit, it is said that the dioxin level in rayon raw materials is below or at the acceptable limit of .1 to 1 parts per trillion. For reference, one part per trillion is like putting one teaspoon of dioxin in a lake that is fifteen feet deep and a mile square. However, if one knew for a fact that dioxin was polluting the water, would one drink the water, or find an alternative dioxin free source of drinking water?
How to choose Dioxin Free Sanitary Napkins and Tampons
When shopping for sanitary napkins and tampons, remember to look on the package to see if the product is listed as having chlorine free bleaching processes. If not, then the product you’re buying may contain dioxin. The majority of name brand sanitary napkins and tampons in your typical grocery store do not use a 100% chlorine free bleaching process to cut on costs.
Alternatives to Sanitary Napkins and Tampons that Contain Dioxin
There are alternatives when purchasing sanitary napkins and tampons with dioxin. For example, you can buy cloth napkins. The benefits of cloth napkins are that; they are reusable and do not contain dioxin. The cons of cloth napkins are that; you have to wash them and there are worries of cleanliness.
Also, if you are not too keen on purchasing cloth napkins, a company called Winalite produces a sanitary napkin called Love Moon Anion that is dioxin free. They use a distillation processes that does not use bleaching agents or rayon in their materials.