Bleach, Glue, and Pesticides the List Goes On: What’s in Your Feminine Products & Where to Find Safe Products on Campus

So much is in our products, but how much do we really know about them?

McKenzie Kerrigan, Editor-In-Chief, Reflector

What are you using ‘down there’?

Toxic chemicals in period products imageGlue, bleach, pesticides, carcinogens, the list goes on of what is in your feminine products. All these products pose unknown and unstudied health risks that are being absorbed through a personal part of your body. These ingredients can lead to risks of cancer, infertility, hormone disruption, or toxic shock syndrome.

Most non-organic brands contain over 100 toxic air pollutants, according to Women’s Voices.  However, most of them can not be explained as to why they are present. Pesticides can be linked back to cotton production when gathering materials, but also the production of rayon contains toxic emissions. Glue is present to hold the products together. While bleach and fragrances pose as an aesthetic to perpetuate a culture of embarrassment around periods. These are just the basic toxicities, but what about the 96 other chemicals?


Is Our Campus Giving Us Access to Safe Menstrual Products?

In short, yes and no. Georgia Southern has a variety of menstrual products on each campus. Gus Marts may have simple or common brands that are popular, but what do all these brands have in common? Most of their ingredients are banned by the European Union.

The safest on-campus choice is TOP organic or the Green Period Pantry, both are a part of the Period Equity Movement. These feminine products can be found in most campus restrooms or discrete locations. This brand is a staple of the GSU Period Equity Movement, which is a campus-sponsored movement created by students to give access to safe hygiene products to those with a menstrual cycle.

Behind the Period Equity Movement and Their Mission to Give Accessibility By 2023

The movement is a multi-campus initiative backed by The Blue Chip Foundation, The William Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation, The Period Company and The Pad Project. The initiatives of these organizations have made it possible to grant GSU’s Green Period Pantry with over 13,000$ in washable period underwear, and 500$ in educational funds. Which is just one project the Period Equity Movement has in progress. Along with the washable underwear, students can get access to free cloth pads or Organi cups, as well.


Products & Dispensers in each bathroom are another initiative the Period Equity Movement is trying to achieve on all campuses. This would allow free disposable products such as pads or tampons to be located in every restroom. Currently most bathrooms in Statesboro have witnessed the new movement gain traction and start their missions this past January.  And for those in an emergency check behind the desk at Zach Henderson Library!

The Period Equity Movement is aiming to ensure that individuals who menstruate have the products they need to live their lives to the fullest.

What Makes TOP Organic & Reusable Products so Different?

Top organic faces the concerns normal brands refuse to change: pesticides, fragrances, sustainability and safety for everyone. Their cotton is pesticide and dye free ensuring those who are allergic or at risk can use their products without concern. A bonus for us and the planet is that TOP organic products do everything to minimize their environmental footprint.

“Our products are completely biodegradable, better for you and our earth & provide leak proof protection.”, TOP organic.


Photo by, TOP Organic


While all products presented on campus through the Period Equity Movement are in some shape or form sustainable, for those looking towards a reusable option The Statesboro Green Period Pantry offers their products at the Counseling Center and the Eagle Essentials Food Pantry (which has now been relocated to the Forest Drive Building). All the products offered are free for students and vary in size to fit every body.