It’s high time tampon brands cleaned up their act
We’re willing to bet you read the ingredients list on the side of your food packaging at least once in a while. Maybe you’ve even started doing the same thing with your beauty products. But have you ever thought about what goes into your tampons?
We’re more aware than ever of what we put into our mouths, and now on our skin, but our vagina is the most absorbent part of our body and we’re still regularly inserting tampons without really knowing the details of what goes into them. Standards for femcare sterilisation and cleanliness in the EU aren’t things we discuss with our friends. A lot of us probably assume that tampons must be treated in the same way as sterile medical equipment, dressings and so on. But in fact, that’s not the case.
“I was shocked to discover there were so few regulations and quality standards in femcare manufacturing”
In reality, hairdryers are subject to higher production standards than tampons. They, like most electrical consumer products, have a CE Marking that gives you reassurance that item adheres to a standardised set of regulations. Similarly, condoms are subject to the highest possible levels of regulation under WHO and ISO standards – and rightly so. All medical products in the EU are closely controlled to make sure we can expect the highest possible standards from them.
Yet femcare products are classed as consumer, not medical, products, and the rules about this category are less stringent. Yes, there’s a governing body called the AHPMA, but membership is voluntary and there’s no legal requirement for femcare brands to follow its code of practice.
We believe this is simply not good enough.
Many of us at Callaly weren’t aware of how little governance there is until we researched the manufacturing process. Callaly’s co-founder and head of product Ewa Radziwon says: “I was shocked to discover there were so few regulations and quality standards in femcare manufacturing. We decided to have higher standards when it came to making our Tampliners.”
What we do differently
We’ve teamed up with some of the world’s leading research institutes to ensure we’re using the highest quality materials, like organic cotton that’s grown without pesticides and is perfume free. We also have rigorous testing and manufacturing standards for our Tampliners (we use special cleanroom environments), and we sterilise our products using the same technique that’s used for medical equipment such as surgical devices and implants. We do all this even though it’s a lot more expensive for us and there’s no legal requirement. It’s simply the right thing to do.
We think that no matter which period products or brands you choose to use, you should know they’ve been treated with the same high standards.
We believe period products should:
- Contain no potentially harmful substances
- Be treated with the same standards and care as medical products
- Be sterilised
- Get tested regularly
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?