There are many reasons to do the change and use washable pads instead of disposables. Some of them are:
– For your health: plastic and glue backing on disposable pads reduce air circulation, creating an environment in which some bacteria thrive. This can cause odour and worsen any pre-existing vaginal irritation. Plastic linings also causes perspiration, sometimes rashes and other irritations and can leave you more susceptible to yeast infections. Allergic reactions that many women have to disposable pads are caused by bleaching residues.
In every major brand of tampon ( except 100% organic cotton) have been found a low levels of dioxin. Dioxin is a known carcinogen and has been related to cervical cancer, breast cancer, endometriosis, and immune system suppression. There are scientific debates about the “safe level” of dioxin exposure. For more information on dioxin, visit related documents available at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS : wwww.niehs.nih.gov).
Prolonged tampon use is risky as linked with the Toxic Shock Syndrome . The bacteria that causes TSS is naturally occurring in menstrual blood, but if menstruation flow is cut off and held in the body, this bacteria will be able to proliferate to toxic levels. TSS can cause serious physical damage and even death.
– For your pocket: Disposable pads & tampons: In average woman uses 11,000- 13,000 pads or tampons which means 550 – 650 boxes of 20 aprox $4.00 US/$6.000 Cnd per box, equals a grand total of $2,400.00-$2,600.00 ! Euro speaking the single package varies from 10 to 16 pads each in average Eur 2,00 for Eur 4,00 monthly, which means Eur 2.150 – Eur 2.300 . This do not includes the panty liners!
Washable pads: a starter kit ( around 4 pads) cost around $33.50 / Eur 31,00. Taking good care of them will last around 8-10 years. To use them during all your menstruating cycle you will need 6 – 10 pcs (around 2 kits) $67.00 / Eur 62.
So during all your menstruating years you can change them 3 times which means aprox. $201 / Eur 186,00. Quiet big the difference!! Just think how much can you save if you add also washable panty liners!
-For the environment: Women use approximately 11,000-13,000 menstrual pads or tampons each, during their menstruating years. Most of us are aware of the environmental disaster created by disposable diapers, and the problem with menstrual products is even bigger! Disposable pads, panty liners, and incontinence garments are almost exclusively made from wood. This wood often comes from ancient old growth forests, which are NOT a renewable resource. When old growth forests are clear cut for pulping, entire ecosystems are destroyed
Every major brand of tampons is made of a cotton/ rayon blend In the bleaching process, organ chlorines are formed such as dioxin, which is often released into ground water. Almost every single menstrual pad and incontinence garment has a plastic backing and a layer of adhesive, both of which will last for generations to come in our landfills. Many also contain additional chemicals to enhance absorbency. Tampons often come with a plastic , or plastic coated wood fibre applicator. Both tampons and their applicators do not decompose in sewage treatment systems like other organic wastes. They often cause these systems to get clogged, and end up released into the ocean still intact. Sewage treatment systems that rely on chemical means only, leave tampons and their applicators virtually unaffected. Thousands of tampon applicators wash up on coastal beaches every day.
If you can wear normal cloth underwear – washing and re-using them time and time again without affecting your health – then why is using cloth pads any different?
Where to buy them?
Most of the manufacturers that produce washable diapers also produced menstrual pads and liners so check our international list.
There are also some specialized sites as: