New York requires ingredient labels for menstrual products

Photo courtesy of Marco Verch, Flickr

Menstrual products are not only subject to the pink tax, but fail to list necessary ingredients that they are composed of. In New York, the mystery behind what goes into menstrual products is over.

On Friday, Oct. 11, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation, S.2387-B/A.164-B, requiring all menstrual products sold in New York State to be sealed with a printed list of all ingredients used in production.

After many requests, New York is now the first state in the nation to require detailed ingredient labels on all of their menstruation products. 

Meika Hollender and her sexual wellness and menstrual hygiene brand, Sustain, have been pushing for this bill for more than 13 years. Most menstruation companies are not required to disclose their ingredients used, and Hollender believes this is an issue that must be discussed. 

For years, advocates have stressed the importance of being informed on what exactly is being used in these products. 

This has been a long standing fight and most companies still view menstrual products as a good, not a necessity. Many in the government do not believe there is an issue with overcharging people on their menstrual needs. 

Menstrual products, including pads, tampons, period cups and period panties, may still be seen as luxury items, but people are now demanding to know what ingredients are in every product. 

Vaginas hold some of the most sensitive tissue found in the body. Thus, certain ingredients can poorly affect reproductive health, as well as cause toxic damage. 

Over the course of an average person's lifetime, they will use about 10,000 individual menstrual products. If people are essentially required to purchase and use these mass produced products, they at least deserve the right to know explicitly what each product contains. 

Before eating something new, most people check the ingredient label on the packaging to know exactly what they’re putting in their body. Similarly, tampons and period cups are placed in the body, so people, naturally, want to know the ingredients in these products that are such an important part of their lives.

Requests are often shut down without proper explanation. It is important to listen to these outspoken ladies, because their input should be at the forefront of importance on issues such as these.

While trying to establish more respect for female advocacy, this event holds more significance because the law was passed on International Day of the Girl: a holiday, first started in 2012, that empowers young girls and women, while also informing and engaging the issues females have continually faced.

Many are thrilled that this monumental event occurred on such a relevant day. It is important to shed light on topics otherwise normally seen as taboo. 

According to Forbes Magazine, this is “a small step for the US, a big milestone for the Menstrual Equity Movement.” The stigma around periods is finally beginning to break; it is not gross, it is not uncommon, it is not a big deal. 

New York is heading in the right direction, and it is important for the other 49 states to follow in their lead. 2019’s International Day of the Girl will go down in history as a progressive moment for women, because they are deserving of safe and healthy menstrual products.