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The Green Life: Ladies, Let's Talk Periods.

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October 15, 2010

Ladies, Let's Talk Periods.

Feminine care We know, we prefer not to dwell on that time of the month either. But our pads and tampons might be hurting us even more than our menstrual cramps, and it's our responsibility to mitigate the damage with informed purchases.

Most feminine-care products are made of conventional cotton and contribute to the 55 million pounds of pesticides that are sprayed on U.S. cotton fields each year. Those pesticides pollute waterways and increase the risk of birth defects and reproductive disorders.

To make matters worse, the products are bleached with chlorine, which produces low levels of the carcinogen dioxin when it reacts with rayon, a component in many tampons.

Most sanitary pads also contain plastic, which doesn't biodegrade. Each month our dirty disposables contribute vastly to our expanding landfills.

To what extent are these products hurting our bodies? The jury's still out, but we'd rather not be the guinea pigs again.

Fortunately, there are many safe, eco-friendly alternatives, including rayon-free and chlorine-free disposable tampons and padswashable organic cotton pads; and reusable cups.

--Natalya Stanko


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