It’s hard to believe that globally, 4 out of 10 people lack access to
something as basic as a clean toilet.
It’s hard to believe that diarrhoea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and bad hygiene kills
more children than malaria, measles and HIV/AIDS combined.
Holy Hormones Journal: At the 2013 conference in New York City, Society for Menstrual Cycle Research members agreed to support Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, 2014. The global movement is spearheaded by the Berlin-based organization WASH United.
Ingrid Johnston-Robledo, President of SMCR, stated in a letter to organization members that thanks to the efforts of SMCR newsletter editor and NYC conference co-planner, David Linton, SMCR has been given the opportunity to sponsor national legislation calling for research on toxic shock syndrome and the risks attached to synthetic fibers and other additives in menstrual management products. See Professor Linton’s Re: Cycling blog post for more information about this initiative.
Feminine Hygiene Products?
American women spend over $2 billion per year on feminine hygiene products. In the United States, the average woman will use over 11,000 tampons and pads over the course of her lifetime. While the Food and Drug Administration requires tampon manufacturers to monitor dioxin levels, this information is not readily available to the public and we don’t know what other components could also pose a risk. Women’s health organizations have recently found chemicals of concern inside tampons and pads including harmful chemicals, carcinogens, and reproductive toxins. It is important to know whether feminine hygiene products pose any risks to the health of American women.
Many women’s health organizations are calling for this research given that health issues such as cervical cancer, endometriosis, infertility, and ovarian cancer may be linked to the products in our bodies but there is no way of knowing with the present lack of research. Menstrual health has been considered a taboo subject by society for too long. It is necessary that we begin a conversation to encourage research and ensure that women live healthy lives.
The Robin Danielson Act of 2014 directs the National Institutes of Health to conduct research to determine whether the presence of dioxin, synthetic fibers, and other chemical additives like chlorine and fragrances, pose any health risks to women who use feminine hygiene products. With new updated findings, this bill (H.R. 2332 in the 112th Congress) places greater emphasis on the need for more general research and understanding of additives in all feminine hygiene products.
I hope that you will join me in this effort to conduct substantial research to best protect the health of America’s women. To become a cosponsor of the Robin Danielson Act, please have your staff contact Nina Anand at email@example.com or x57944.
CAROLYN B. MALONEY
Member of Congress
SMCR WASH contact Danielle Keiser has also drawn our attention to a Twitterchat that will take place on May 20th: In one week, on May 20th, there will be a #PeriodTalk Twitterchat hosted by WASH United and co-hosted by @GirlsGlobe & @BPreparedPeriod. #PeriodTalk is normally used by BPreparedPeriod to have T-chats about periods, but the May 20th T-chat will be dedicated to Menstrual Hygiene Day!
Help us spread the word about these exciting and wide-spread forms of menstrual activism.
Ingrid Johnston-Robledo, President
Society for Menstrual Cycle Research