Read the full article by Leah Segedie (Mamavation)

“In early 2020, Jessian Choy, a journalist at the Sierra Magazine shared results from the laboratory of Applied Nuclear Physics at the University of Notre Dame regarding potential PFAS contamination in the most popular period underwear brand–Thinx.

We interviewed Jessian Choy and she told us that after years of wondering if this type of underwear contained a type of PFAS chemical, she decided to enlist the help of Dr. Graham Peaslee, a fellow at the American Chemical Society and professor of Applied Nuclear Physics. Dr. Graham Peaslee was also concerned with the potential outcome of PFAS in period underwear after releasing similar results about American food packaging. Peaslee has been researching PFAS for the past few years and was the scientist that discovered the presence of PFAS in fast-food wrappers in 2017. He’s also served as an ambassador for newly debuted film staring Mark Ruffalo about PFAS called ‘Dark Waters,‘ in which he led a discussion about PFOA at Notre Dame University.

The results from these panties were shocking because they made it clear that products like period underwear could be manufactured with PFAS chemicals inside their ‘moisture wicking’ fabric and sold to unsuspecting American consumers. Since it’s right up against the vagina, one of the most sensitive & vascular areas of the body, and scientists are already concerned about dermal exposure, it could be a very relevant avenue for toxic pollution into the body.

After Dr. Peaslee found fluorine in Thinx panties and it was covered by the Sierra Magazine, it was followed by Thinx denying any responsibility or possibility that it was true. Thinx then hired consultants (who were infamous for representing toxic chemical companies and thwarting regulation & public policy hard on toxic chemicals like perchlorate) to refute the findings of what Dr. Graham Peaslee found in his lab at the University of Notre Dame.

Shortly following the denial, Thinx changed the language on their website to allow them to sell Americans period panties with PFAS without getting into hot water. (We know because we checked.) Basically, any reference to the ‘PFAS’ chemical category was removed, and instead they used language that only claimed they were free from PFOA.

We also noticed other brands making similar changes in legal terms on their sites, but not all.

So in other words, the brands like Thinx haven’t changed their product, but they have changed the way they talk about their product. They aren’t telling you no PFAS chemical is present, they are instead telling you PFOA (one of the thousands of chemicals in that category) isn’t present. But obviously, there is more to worry about inside those panties than PFOA…”