The bill was sponsored by assembly member Linda Rostenthal. The original bill required disclosure of the percentages of ingredients, including any chemicals or byproducts of chemicals in feminine hygiene products. Industry insiders feel the approved bill, while well intending, is too broad in scope and lacks specificity and rulemaking.
“We support the goal of ensuring consumers have access to safety and ingredient information about menstrual hygiene products. The integrity of our members' products to support the health and lifestyles of women is our highest priority. While we applaud the efforts of the New York Legislature, we believe additional changes are needed to this law to create a practical and effective program,” says Jane Wishneff, exectuvie director of Center for Baby and Absorbent Hygiene (BAHP). “BAHP remains concerned that this new requirement will result in confusion for consumers and disrupt the availability of these products in the State of New York.”
BAHP represents the personal absorbent hygiene products industry in North America by promoting and supporting the safety, sustainability and integrity of these products. Its membership represents more than 80% of the industry in North America and provides more than 10,000 manufacturing jobs.
“Industry is already providing information about product ingredients through online platforms in a user-friendly format,” Wishneff adds. “This provides manufacturers with the ability to provide accurate and timely information about product changes. This new mandate does not take in consideration constant product innovation and would limit consumer access to up-to-date information.”
Typically made of cotton, rayon or a blend of materials, tampons are considered medical devices so ingredients don’t need to be listed on the packaging. The FDA requires tampons to go through a clearance process to prove safety and effectiveness. A study commissioned by the FDA Office of Women’s Health to address claims that dioxin, an organic pollutant, could be found in tampons revealed that one regular tampon would provide less than 0.2% of a woman’s recommended maximum intake of the pollutant for a month and would pose no health risk.
Another study conducted in 2018 examined 11 different types of tampons as well as four types of menstrual cups and found that the kind of material — whether it was organic, regular cotton, rayon, or a blend — did not make a difference when it came to the growth rate of bacteria that causes Toxic Shock Syndrome.
The FDA already regulates labelling requirements for menstrual hygiene products including important use and safety instructions, and warnings on the label for consumers.