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Period underwear is made from organic cotton with a touch of spandex. The absorbent area is made of polyester and a layer of PUL that is 3rd party tested by Intertek and Oeko-Tex. There are no chemical sprays or additives, not even odor concealers. Period underwear is made of fabric dyed with reactive dye (as opposed to dyeing the whole garment). For more information, read below.
Most importantly, Period underwear fared well in the Mamavation test. In other words, Leah Segedie of Mamavation found no fluorine (a proxy for PFAS) in their products. (Keep in mind, though, that Mamavation’s testing has some limitations. It is one snapshot in time, not ongoing testing of every batch. The minimum detectable level is 10 ppm, so, technically speaking, the underwear could have had 9.9 ppm of fluorine, but it wasn’t detected. And also, she tests for fluorine, which is a proxy for PFAS.)
PFAS are a large group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. PFAS are persistent and toxic in the environment and associated with many health consequences, including:
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Decreased vaccine response in children
- Changes in liver enzymes
- Increased risk of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women
- Decreases in infant birth weights
- Increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer (source)
On the other hand, in the Notre Dame lab test, described by Mamavation, THINX “organic” hip hugger briefs had 3,267 ppm of fluorine in the inside crotch area. Because of that, a class action lawsuit was filed against THINX, and recently, it was settled in favor of the plaintiffs. Read more here.
I also like that the PUL used in Period underwear is tested to the OEKO-TEX standard. This certification limits the number of chemicals allowed to be used in products. And yes, in an ideal world, we want GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic period underwear; but given its function, I do not think such underwear exists.
They have various styles and shapes, even adaptive ones with Velcro fasteners on the sides.