Is the jaw-dropping global crash in fertility rate linked to single use plastics?
Jaw-dropping global crash in fertility rate
But what’s causing it?
Well, there is a myriad of reasons for this decline, more women in education and work, as well as greater access to contraception, leads to women choosing to have fewer children.
But, is there a deeper cause for this decline in fertility and birth rates?
Research examining levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in commercial plastic packaging (including many food and drink products) in the urine of 190 men recruited from an infertility clinic.
The study found BPA was present in 89% of samples and that there was a trend for higher BPA levels to be associated with poor sperm quality, as well as damage to sperm DNA.
Various studies have discovered that certain substances might be associated with disruption of hormones in all sorts of ways, from the way we have babies to the way we cope with stress! And one we are eager to explore, and expose is plastics that are used in mainstream period products.
One of the most worrying substances when it comes to hormone disruption is bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that is used to harden plastics. It’s known as a hormone mimic in that it can look and act like a hormone, specifically the sex hormone oestrogen. The structure of BPA enables it to mimic or block the action of hormones. This allows the molecule to interfere with the function of the body’s endocrine system - the complex network of glands, hormones and receptors that link the brain to reproduction and metabolism.
Some tampons are also bleached with chlorine to achieve that pearly white look, and they contain pesticides, fragrances, glue and even glyphosate, the controversial ingredient used in some weed killers!
The usual culprit that is used to whiten period products is chlorine, which has been shown to create toxic dioxin. Studies show that dioxin can collect in your fatty tissues. According to an EPA draft report, dioxin is a serious public health threat that has no "safe" level of exposure! Published reports show that even trace dioxin levels may be linked to:
- Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
- Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
- Immune system suppression
- Hormonal and endocrine system disruption
Remember that your skin is the largest organ in your body, and also the thinnest. Less than one-tenth of an inch separates your body from potential toxins. Worse yet, your skin is highly permeable - especially the skin in and around the vaginal area. Anything coming in constant contact with your skin could land in your bloodstream and be circulated throughout your body.
Awareness is the key to change
The first step is education for all, when we educate young girls on the important choices thy have and empower them – things change.
One study showed that that participants were shocked at the amount of plastic in commonly used disposable menstrual products. Almost a third of those surveyed were not aware that tampons contained plastic and 20% of people believed that it is okay to flush tampons – it’s not!
Figures from the Marine Conservation Society reveal that on average, 4.8 pieces of menstrual waste are found per 100 metres of beach cleaned.
The study, published in the journal Sustainability, was led by Elizabeth Peberdy of Anglia Ruskin University, who examined levels of awareness and people's attitudes towards the environmental impact of these products.
Time to make the switch to organic period products for good
All of our undies at LUXStore are made from the softest, breathable organic cotton fabric with a pop of natural coral to brighten your mood and support you through days of light period flow. LUX period undies are vegan, biodegradable and reusable for up to 50 washes per pair. No furry friends were tested on either!
Each pack comes with two pairs of undies, one in coral and the other in black. Once you have used these beauties, just rinse them in cold water and then put them to wash with the rest of your clothes in the washing machine.
Try our organic period undies and let us know over on Instagram what you think…