First US state bans PFAS, other chemicals from period products

June 17, 2024

Read the full article by Rebecca Trager (Chemistry World)

"Vermont has become the first state in the US to ban multiple chemicals from menstrual products such as tampons and sanitary pads. The chemicals banned include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), phthalates, formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane and mercury. The law is set to come into force in January 2026.

‘I support the action of state governments, such as Vermont, to begin the process of identifying uses of PFAS that are not essential,’ Jamie DeWitt, a toxicologist at Oregon State University who has studied the immunotoxicological effects of PFAS, tells Chemistry World. ‘While I do not know of any studies that have been conducted to look at how much of the PFAS reported to be in certain consumer items, such as menstrual products, can get into the bodies of people who use them, the use of PFAS in these products does contribute to human exposure.’

Sally Gaw, the director of environmental science at the University of Canterbury’s physical and chemical sciences school in New Zealand, welcomed the move to regulate hazardous chemicals in everyday consumer products. She says there is limited regulatory oversight of the hazardous chemicals used in the manufacture of everyday products, including menstrual products and clothing. ‘Regulating hazardous chemicals in everyday products will benefit the communities and ecosystems where the consumer products are made, the users of the products and the receiving environments when the products are disposed of,’ Gaw states."