Are American women turning to reusable and greener menstrual products due to health and environmental pollution concerns?

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dc.contributor.advisor Morelli, John en_US
dc.contributor.author Borowski, Ann
dc.date.accessioned 2012-07-02T17:44:42Z
dc.date.available 2012-07-02T17:44:42Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1850/15124
dc.description.abstract This research investigates environmental and health concerns related to disposable tampons and sanitary napkins. Much like diapers, tampons and sanitary napkins are comprised of synthetic materials that do not readily decompose. A woman will menstruate for approximately 40 years of her life. During that time, a significant amount of disposable feminine hygiene products accumulate in landfills and at times wash up on the shores of local beaches. Additionally, during the manufacturing and bleaching process, there is potential for dioxin to be created which has both health and environmental impacts. From a health perspective, many women experience discomfort, infection, and in some cases, are stricken with cancer. Given that disposables are a potential concern from a health and environmental perspective, this study examined the following question: "Are American women turning to reusable and greener menstrual products due to health and environmental pollution concerns"? For this work, 160 people were surveyed to answer this question and determine if women were aware of these environmental and health issues and if they knew of greener and healthier alternatives other than conventional disposable pads and tampons. Additionally, interviews were conducted with a product developer of conventional pads and tampons, a manufacturer of reusable pads and feminine cups, a therapist who has worked with consumer development, as well as a woman who uses alternative menstruation products. The results of the study suggest that women are most concerned about the price of products and environmental impact. Many women would consider switching to a "greener" product such as a 100% organic cotton tampon or pad, but as learned during interviews and additional research, the definition of "green" is open for debate. While reusable menstruation products such as reusable pads or insertable cups are in fact the "greenest" option, many women would not consider these as they must be cleaned or laundered. Although this research suggests that women are willing to consider reusable and greener menstrual products, there needs to be a better understanding of what is indeed "green" from both a health and environmental perspective. As learned in this research, what is better for the environment is not always better from a women's health perspective. Key Words: green; greener, greenest; menstruation; period; disposable; pads; sanitary napkins; tampons; insertable cups; feminine products; feminine cups; feminine hygiene; alternative menstruation products; reusable; safety; decompose; decomposition; biodegrade; gynecological; environment; environmental; organic; cotton; rayon; synthetic fibers; health, women's health; pollution; waste; purchasing; cost. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Disposable en_US
dc.subject Green en_US
dc.subject Health en_US
dc.subject Menstruation en_US
dc.subject Pads en_US
dc.subject Tampons en_US
dc.subject.lcc RG108 .B67 2011
dc.subject.lcsh Feminine hygiene products--Environmental aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Feminine hygiene products--Health aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Feminine hygiene products--Public opinion
dc.subject.lcsh Green products--Public opinion
dc.title Are American women turning to reusable and greener menstrual products due to health and environmental pollution concerns? en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.college College of Applied Science and Techology en_US
dc.description.department Department of Civil Engineering Technology,Environmental Management & Safety en_US

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