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Jamy van Baarsel


Tabu, just as natural as your period

All women have one thing in common; they get their periods!
Although most women use tampons and pads monthly, they never consider looking at the ingredients list of their favorite brands. If they actually did, they would have found nothing more than “made of a perfect absorbent material”. This is because tampons and pads are labeled as “medical devices” according to EU legislation. Therefore, manufactures are not required to men¬tion the ingredients on the packaging.
There is also no strict EU legislation about the materials used in the production of feminine hygienic products. Therefore, 85% of our tampons and pads contain chemicals like bleach and pesticides. They are also made of unnatural materials like rayon and polyester. These chemicals and materials can increase the changes of getting cancer, organ failure and infertility.
Due to the artificial materials, tampons and pads are not biodegradable and 20 billion of them end up on landfills yealy. Research shows the low awareness of women for this problem, which withholds them to search for natural and sustain¬able alternatives. Two problems cause this low awareness:
• The lack of information provided by the tampon/pad brands.
• The existing taboo on menstruation.
My graduation project is about changing periods and mindsets of women in the Netherlands. I researched alternative materials for a sustainable tampon and used the key phrases: we need to talk period, we need to think period and we need to change period to comm