Tampons and pads still exist in a regulatory grey area where the law does not require companies to disclose their ingredients. According to the Food and Drug Administration, tampons fall into the category of ‘medical device’ because they are worn internally, so there is no requirement by law to disclose the ingredients in tampons and pads.
Conventional pads are made of synthetics, which include plastics such as polythene, polypropylene, and polyacrylate super absorbent gel, surfactants and chlorine-bleached wood pulp, as well as fragrance and colours. These synthetic products have been proven to have harmful effects on our bodies, including vaginal itching, irritation, soreness, and discharge, so we’ve pulled together a helpful list of four key ingredients you might want to avoid.
Most pads are made from over 90% crude oil plastics, the same ingredient as the petrol in your car. The best case scenario is that these plastic filled sanitary items end up in our landfills where they can take over 500 years to degrade. A result that causes even more damage is when conventional sanitary products make their way into our oceans, damaging marine ecology and eventually our food chain. Every year, billions of plastic laden menstrual pads and tampons are found littering our beaches and oceans and polluting our fragile ecosystems. These plastics tangle marine animals, killing or injuring them by suffocation, strangulation, or drowning
Chlorine bleaching practises produce dioxin as a by-product – a substance linked to serious health issues such as cancer, endometriosis and immune system compromise.
- Super absorbents:
Synthetic tampons are made from manmade materials such as rayon and viscose – cheap to produce materials that have an increased capacity for absorbing fluid. These materials can fall away when removed leaving fibres embedded in your body, and often causing vaginal irritation. More concerning is that menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a serious systemic and potentially deadly illness caused by bacteria, has been linked to the use of super-absorbents in conventional tampons. TSS has never been associated with the use of 100% organic cotton tampons.
- ‘Natural’ cotton:
‘Natural’ cotton commonly refers to the fact there are no synthetics and plastics added to the natural fibre after the plant is harvested. However this does not mean that the cotton is chemical free. Non-organic cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world, using more than 25% of the world’s total insecticides and treated with harsh carcinogenic pesticides. Choosing certified organic cotton removes the risk of direct exposure to residues from chemical pesticides, fertilisers, defoliants and fungicides commonly used on conventionally grown cotton which is just as well – the vagina is the most absorbent part of our body, directly filtering into our bloodstream.
Due to these troubling connections, experts in women’s health recommend organic cotton over super absorbent synthetic alternatives. Oi pads, panty liners, and tampons are free from viscose, rayon, chlorine, dioxin, wood pulp, pesticides, plastic, and unnatural super absorbent materials. In fact, the only ingredient that you’ll find in Oi products is 100% pure organic cotton.
Oi – the smarter choice for your body and your world
What we are:
- Biodegradable: All Oi products naturally biodegrade in 5 years, while synthetics take 500 years or more. Oi boxes are recyclable, and our inks are made from vegetable dyes. Our pads and pantyline wrappers are made from biodegradable bioplastic. Even our applicators are made from biodegradable cardboard.
- Certified Organic: The cotton we use to make our products has been grown according to strict standards as verified by independent certification bodies such as GOTS (Global organic textile standard) BioGro and the FDA. We chose the Certified Organic route with GOTS and BioGro, New Zealand’s most trusted organic certification authority, so you know you are using a product with the highest integrity and total transparency.
- Pure: Oi products are made of 100% pure organic cotton, containing no chemicals, no harmful preservatives or additives, no dyes or bleaches, and are GMO free.
- Hypoallergenic and hygienic: Oi products have been clinically tested to reduce the risks of irritation and allergy, and are a safe choice for people with sensitivities and allergies. All products are individually wrapped with biodegradable bioplastic for hygiene, convenience, and environmental responsibility.
- Comfortable: Oi products are ultra soft, comfortable, breathable, reliable, intended for high performance, and sure to bring you peace of mind. Our pads are ultra-thin, designed to be more discreet and comfortable, with wings for extra protection.
- NZ owned and ethically produced: Oi is a New Zealand owned company. Our products are made in Europe and adhere to the strict guidelines set out by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), BioGro (New Zealand’s organic certifier and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from farm to you. Our cotton comes from a range of GOTS certified farms including the USA, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
- Recommended by gynaecologists, midwives and obstetricians
By choosing Oi you are:
- saying no to the use of synthetics and chemicals in your tampons and pads.
- have personally contributed to reducing long-term waste and your environmental footprint.
- are saying “Biodegradable is not debatable” and saying “Yes” to looking after your world.
Your body, your choice