“I know what’s in my toothpaste and my shampoo, I should know what’s in my tampons,” says Assemblymember Rosenthal. “Menstruators have a right to know the ingredients in products that they put in and on some of the most sensitive parts of their bodies 24 hours a day, for seven to 10 days a month every month for as many as 40 years. For years, menstruators have been stigmatized, their periods shrouded by shame. This legislation helps to smash the stigma surrounding menstruation and helps empower menstruators to make educated decisions about the products they use on their most sensitive body parts.”
Menstruators use tampons and related products for up to a week each month for 40 years or more during the span of a lifetime. This prolonged exposure creates unique and not well understood or studied opportunities for absorption of chemicals and toxins into the individual’s body. Reports on the ingredients found in many different brands have shown the presence of several undisclosed volatile compounds, including known reproductive toxins, like carbon disulfide and methylene chloride, according to the assemblymember's announcement.
“Make no mistake about it, product labeling is a vital consumer protection, but a package with ingredients clearly labeled is also a signal to menstruators that their bodies and their experience matters,” Rosenthal adds.
Kathy Curtis, executive director of Clean and Healthy New York and Co-leader of the JustGreen Partnership, says, “We deserve the right to know what’s in our menstrual products. Thanks to this first-ever menstrual product labeling requirement, New Yorkers will no longer have to guess what ingredients are in products they use in and on the most intimate parts of their bodies.”
The bill, which passed the State Senate earlier this session, was sponsored by Roxanne Persaud.