Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced the Robin Danielson Act, a piece of legislation that would require the National Institutes of Health to put money into the research of feminine hygiene products and their possible negative side effects. Surprised that that’s not already a requirement? Well, try this for shocking: The bill has already been brought before Congress nine times and has always been shut down before it could be voted on.

As Rep. Maloney told RH Reality Check, “We need more dedicated and substantial research to address unanswered health concerns regarding the safety of feminine hygiene products. American women spend well over $2 billion per year on feminine hygiene products, and the average woman will use over 16,800 tampons and pads over the course of her lifetime. Despite this large investment and high usage, there has been limited research on the potential health risks these products may pose to women.”

While the FDA requires tampon and pad producers to privately test their products before they go on the market, other products (vaginal wipes, douches, etc.) do not require testing at all.

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RH Reality Check reports that the Robin Danielson Act, named after a woman who died from Toxic Shock Syndrome in 1998, would:

require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to allocate resources for independent research into the potential hazards posed by synthetic fibers and chemicals currently present in many of the feminine hygiene products on the market. It would also mandate research to confirm data submitted to the FDA by manufacturers. The results of all future independent studies would be submitted to Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as the FDA. These findings would also be available to the public.

Hi Congress! Please pass this bill and, while you’re at it, subsidize tampons. Thanks!

Image via Getty.


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