Here at Essity, we never intentionally add dangerous substances to our products, and of course that includes formaldehyde since making our products safe to use is an absolute must for us. Trace levels are sometimes found in the raw materials or the process chemicals we use, but when detected, these are barely over the detection limit, so there’s no need to be concerned.
It’s a common misconception that “organic” equals good and safe, while “synthetic” equals bad and toxic. The truth is, it’s not really possible to make such a distinction. Mixtures of chemicals derived from nature can be highly toxic at low doses – for example poisonous mushrooms or raw kidney beans.
On the other hand, synthetic Vitamin C does not in any way differ from Vitamin C which has been purified from an orange. It tastes the same and it has exactly the same effect when ingested.
What matters when it comes to assessing the safety of a product is what chemicals it contains, and at which amounts – not whether those chemicals were harvested from nature or prepared in a lab.
Although it’s extremely rare, Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a potentially fatal infection, caused by bacteria that can release dangerous toxins into the bloodstream. If caught and treated early, it can be cured quickly.
However, TSS is not directly linked to tampon use. Only about half of TSS infections are related to menstruation, and it can also occur during menstruations when tampons are not used.
In any case, always read the instructions for use and follow the advice regarding the choice of the right absorption level of the tampon and its maximal wear time.
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All of us in the product safety team use Essity products at home and trust them with our own families.
When it comes to chemicals that can interfere with the body’s hormones, we are – again – very strict. We demand transparency from our suppliers about the potential presence of any such chemicals. We screen for traces of selected substances and make sure they are either not detectable or they are so minimal that they are far below any concerning amount.
Per today, science does not know everything about chemicals with effect on hormones. Therefore, we remain diligent and closely follow new evidence and update our product safety processes accordingly.
We don’t use chemicals in concentrations that could be harmful. Many chemicals of concern are unavoidably present in natural or synthetic materials in tiny amounts – from parts per million (ppm) to parts per billion (ppb) or parts per trillion (ppt). For comparison: one ppt is like one second in 32.000 years.
For our Product Safety team to give a material the thumbs up, it must first pass our diligent product safety assessment, to ensure that any potential trace chemicals are not present in concentrations that are higher than what is considered safe based on the most updated scientific data.
There’s no need to worry about Bisphenol A in our products. Our Global Supplier Standard explicitly says that this chemical may not be intentionally added to any of our raw materials. It’s also not used in the production process of our absorbent hygiene products (that’s your towel, tampon, liner or period panty).
Thanks to an established program of chemical analysis of raw materials for our incontinence, baby and feminine absorbent products, we can confidently state that potential traces, when detectable, are very low – well below any safety and regulatory limits.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals that can interfere with your normal hormonal functions and are broadly classified as endocrine disruptors.
At Essity, we never intentionally add phthalates to our absorbent hygiene products (that’s your towel, tampon, liner or period panty). But, as with other undesirable chemicals, we do sometimes find trace levels the raw materials we use. When this happens, the levels are so tiny that they are barely detectable – well below levels that are considered safe.
No, you shouldn’t be worried. None of the materials that go into Essity products are bleached with chlorine gas (elemental chlorine) – the method of bleaching that produces dioxins.
The detection limits of the chemical analysis we conduct on Essity absorbent hygiene products (that’s your towel, tampon, liner or period panty) are extremely low, and the levels of dioxins we detect are either below or just above these limits – similar to what can be found naturally in the environment, and well below any regulatory limits.
Bottom line? The safety of our products is never compromised.
There are no added chemicals in any Essity products that are harmful to users or that can even cause cancer. It is important to understand that chemicals are all around us in nature and consequently some can be found in trace amounts in our materials and products. But these trace amounts are miniscule and absolutely safe.
Our Global Supplier Standard, which sets the standards our suppliers must comply with, very clearly prohibits the intentional use of known carcinogenic (= being able to cause cancer) and mutagenic chemicals (= being able to cause mutations) in the raw materials that go into our products. We also don’t use them in our production processes.
What you can be 100% sure of is that our products don’t contain carcinogens in amounts that are anywhere near dangerous.
Some feminine pads and liners do. We carefully select and assess the perfumes in these products to make sure they’re safe for their intended use. Whenever perfume is present, we say so clearly on our labelling, with terms like “contains perfume” or “scented."
Well, absorbent hygiene products (that’s your towel, tampon, liner or period panty) don’t actually require preservation, so, no, not for that purpose.
Only when a product shall have specific properties, such as preventing odor, or some antimicrobial effect, then we intentionally add substances with a biocidal effect for that purpose. You will recognize those products from their labelling.
Some of the additives and manufacturing chemicals do contain preservatives, and as a result, traces are sometimes detectable in the products. But as with other trace elements, these amounts are extremely small, and not anything to worry about.
We sometimes use optical brighteners for glues used on specific materials like elastics to detect the correct positioning of components during assembly of the product. These glues are always subject to product safety approval.
Traces of optical brighteners might be introduced via recycled fibers used in tissue products. Essity is not intentionally using optical brighteners in its tissue manufacturing process, with very few technical exceptions, where only food contact-approved optical brighteners are used.
Preserving cosmetic products is essential to ensure their safe use, as otherwise they are vulnerable to attack by micro-organisms. So, yes, we do use preservatives in some of our cosmetic products – both to maintain product integrity and to protect you, the consumer.
The preservatives we use in Essity products are all carefully assessed and chosen to ensure they are safe for your health and the environment. All the preservatives we use are of course also legally compliant. Beyond legal compliance, we also restrict several preservatives from use in our cosmetics, such as formaldehyde and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MIT).
It’s good to keep in mind that not all types of parabens are bad. Methylparaben and ethylparaben are both safe and approved as preservatives for cosmetic products. When present in Essity products, you’ll find them mentioned in the ingredient lists on the back of the product package.
Just like with parabens, not all azo dyes are bad. Some azo dyes can degrade and release carcinogenic aromatic amines. Following the EU’s REACH chemical legislation (Annex XVII), we don’t allow any of these potentially carcinogenic azo dyes to be used in our products.
We sometimes use other, non-dangerous azo dyes for specific applications, but only after rigorous assessment and approval by our product safety team.
Yes, some of our Essity cosmetics do contain colorants. This is always clearly indicated in the ingredients list. We always choose colorants carefully and assess them to ensure they’re safe for your health and the environment.