In a survey published Thursday, February 21, 60 million consumers revealed that tampons and sanitary napkins still contain glyphosate residues, as well as phthalates.
Tampons and sanitary napkins without residues of pesticides or phthalates, it is not for right away.
While last July, the National Agency for Food Safety, Environment and Labor (ANSES) pointed in a report the presence in the periodic protection of dioxins, phthalates, as well as traces of Monsanto herbicide, glyphosate, it appears that manufacturers have not yet decided to review the composition of their products despite recommendations "to improve the quality of products to eliminate or minimize the presence of chemical substances".
In an investigation unveiled Thursday, 60 million consumers reveals that these substances are still present in the hygienic protection, even in those labeled "organic".
Presence of herbicide and endocrine disruptors
Three years after its first survey on the composition of towels and tampons, the association conducted new analyzes. The results are not encouraging, since they note "the recurring presence of glyphosate or a derivative in products of major brand", but also that of phthalates "that we had not detected before". Among these undesirable substances is DEPH, a "worrying phthalate" that is suspected of impairing fertility.
While there are no studies to date on the long-term health effects of these chemicals in periodic protection, 60 million consumers point to the risks of such chronic exposure throughout women's lives. . And this, even if the substances are only in "very low concentration". The consumer association also recalls that in its report, ANSES reported "manifestations of irritation, intolerance, allergy, even microtrauma".
For its part, the group of manufacturers Group'hygiène defended to AFP arguing that "the few substances detected ... are in trace, at a level well below the health thresholds". He adds that the substances pointed by 60 million consumers are not intentionally added to the periodic products by manufacturers but could "be present in most of the current agricultural ecosystem and our environment: air, water, soil ..."
A lack of transparency on the composition
Beyond the presence of chemicals in hygienic products, it is the lack of transparency of manufacturers that 60 million consumers denounce. And for good reason: no regulation currently requires brands to explicitly indicate the composition of their products. Only half of the test marks display the composition on the package. "In the absence of a list of components, it is impossible, after an allergic reaction, to know the molecule that poses a potential problem in order to opt for a protection using other components", deplores the association, which explicitly names the most recalcitrant manufacturers.
Among them, the brands of retailers such as Carrefour or E. Leclerc who do not provide any information on the composition of their pads or towels and did not respond to the solicitations of the association. As for the brands Always, Nana, Nett and Vania, they indicate "gradually add the name of the components on their packaging". "But there are sometimes generic terms, such as 'polymer' or 'synthetic', and in the absence of a real constraint, there is little chance for brands to really commit to abundant information," concludes consumer association.