Read the full article by Emma Seymour and Lexie Sachs (Good Housekeeping Institute)
“…There have been some concerns recently around perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) being found in period underwear. PFAS are a group of manmade chemicals that are found in waterproof and nonstick products. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to negative effects on the immune system and an increased risk of certain cancers. Many brands claim that there are “no measured PFAS” in their products, but this type of testing is relatively recent and companies may not know what to look for as there are thousands of different PFAS chemicals. Therefore, it is unknown whether period underwear has more risk of exposure than any other consumer product that makes skin contact.
‘This issue speaks to broader challenges with how toxic chemicals are produced and used in our world today,’ says Alissa Cordner, Ph.D., co-director of the PFAS Project Lab based at Northeastern University. ‘It is quite possible that a product manufacturer would be unaware of PFAS in some of their component materials because the global supply chain lacks transparency when it comes to chemicals. But this is still a problem, and product manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for consumers and for the environment.’
Period underwear, specifically, faces another hurdle: There has been long-term bias in scientific testing around products aimed at women and people of color. ‘So this may be part of why we don’t know a lot about exposure to toxics through period products,’ says Cordner.”…