House Democrats are calling on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research possible health risks linked to feminine hygiene products.
In a letter on Monday, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and six of her House colleagues asked NIH Director Francis Collins to determine whether dioxins, synthetic fibers and chlorine in tampons and other feminine products pose any risk to women.
“Millions of American women use feminine hygiene products every day and yet there is still scant research on the potential health risks posed to women,” said the letter. “Recent independent studies by women health organizations have found chemicals of concern in tampons, pads and douches, including harmful chemicals, carcinogens and reproductive toxins.”
Lawmakers say they are concerned about reports of women, like former model Lauren Wasser, suffering from toxic shock syndrome. Wasser, according to media reports, suffered a massive heart attack, lost a leg and part of a foot due to the rare bacterial infection that’s been associated with the use of superabsorbent tampons.
In addition to new research, Maloney and her colleagues ask NIH to detail past research related to women’s health and feminine hygiene product safety.
“Women deserve to know that these products are safe and be provided with information they need to make informed purchasing decisions,” their letter said. “We encourage you to protect the health of women everywhere through this valuable research.”