The vast majority ‒ 85 percent ‒ of tampons, cotton and sanitary products tested in a new Argentinian study contained glyphosate.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling Roundup herbicide, to be “probably carcinogenic.”
While a number of countries scrambled to ban the sale and importation of glyphosate-containing products, few thought to consider what other items should be removed from store shelves to protect consumers.
Because cotton is one of the top four GMO crops produced in the world and is heavily treated with pesticides, there is reason to be concerned about the safety of products it is used in. This suspicion was confirmed recently in an Argentian study which found that the vast majority – 85% – of tampons, cotton, and sanitary products tested contained glyphosate.
Reuters reports that 62% of the samples also tested positive for AMPA, glyphosate’s metabolite. The study was conducted by researchers at the Socio-Environmental Interaction Space (EMISA) of the University of La Plata in Argentina.
According to Dr. Damian Marino, the study’s head researcher, ALL of the raw and sterile cotton gauze analyzed in the study showed evidence of glyphosate. This is very concerning for a number of reasons.
Not only are gauze pads often reached for in a case of an emergency to help heal wounds, billions of women use tampons and pads during their monthly menstruation cycle. Women, especially, are exposing themselves to the carcinogenic compound every time they insert a tampon or use a pad.
“Eighty-five percent of all samples tested positive for glyphosate and 62 percent for AMPA, which is the environmental metabolite, but in the case of cotton and sterile cotton gauze the figure was 100 percent,” Marino told Télam news agency. “In terms of concentrations, what we saw is that in raw cotton AMPA dominates (39 parts per billion, or PPB, and 13 PPB of glyphosate), while the gauze is absent of AMPA, but contained glyphosate at 17 PPB.”
An English translation of the Télam report can be found here. The products tested were acquired at local stores in Argentina.
The public received word of the study last week when doctors convened at the 3rd National Congress of Doctors for Fumigated Communities in Buenos Aires.
Considering the wide-spread use of cotton for everything from basic hygienic needs to hospital gauze and pads, this research should be taken very seriously.
“[People are] thinking they are sterilized products, and the results show that they are contaminated with a probably carcinogenic substance,” said Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, president of the congress. “The report left us shocked.”
Dr. Vazquez believes the results of the study are serious enough authorities should get involved.
Alternatives to glyphosate-containing tampons and pads:
Ladies, keep Monsanto out of your vagina. Opt to use organic tampons and pads, a menstrual cup, a sea sponge, or another method of your choice during your monthly cycle.
- Organic Cotton Pads & Tampons
If you prefer to use pads and tampons, opt to purchase and use only organic, natural feminine products. Most health food stores carry organic brands like Natracare.
- Menstrual Cup
Just like it sounds, a menstrual cup is a reusable soft sided cup that fits inside the vagina to collect menstrual flow. It is reusable, leak-proof, and much more comfortable than regular tampons.
It can also be reused, does not need to be changed as often, and is much more eco-friendly than tampons and pads. The DivaCup is a popular product.
- Sea Sponge
Sea sponges are the only menstrual product for insertion that is 100% natural. They come from the ocean and return the earth (they can be composted!). The resource does not have toxic cancer-causing ingredients like dioxins, furans, pesticides, and who-knows-what-else.
- Cloth Pads
Reusable pads are another great option. They are more comfortable than plastic based pads and have a waterproof liner so they don’t leak through onto clothing.
Many work even better than disposable options. The only downside is that you do have to wash them, but this is a minimal inconvenience to avoid chemicals and keep plastics out of the landfill.
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