ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Safety Standards of Sanitary Napkins


In India, sanitary products are classified as medical products, which exempt manufacturers from disclosing the ingredients used in their packaging. The Bureau of Indian Standards, 1980 provides guidelines for sanitary napkins, including instructions for use, indicating the absorbent side, and disposal instructions. However, there are no requirements to test the toxicity of ingredients. The lack of regulations has raised concerns about the chemicals used in Indian sanitary pads, including their potential to cause adverse health effects like cancer. It is crucial for women to be informed about the composition of these products, considering that they use them extensively throughout their lives, with an average of 11,000 to 17,000 sanitary napkins used per woman. Sanitary napkins are something that are very common in every household and woman’s life, so they cannot be classified as a medical product, exempting the manufacturer from mentioning the ingredients used in them. The Government in India has failed to conduct sufficient research and quality checks on sanitary napkins, despite reports highlighting the presence of harmful chemicals and their impact on women’s health.

Sanitary pads serve the purpose of absorbing and containing menstrual fluid to prevent leakage and provide comfort to women during their menstrual cycle. To fulfil these functions, sanitary pads are typically constructed with multiple layers. These layers include the cover stock, acquisition and distribution layer, absorbent core, back sheet, and siliconised paper. Each layer plays a specific role in the overall functionality of the sanitary pad. The cover stock is the outer layer that provides a soft and comfortable surface against the skin. The acquisition and distribution layer helps to quickly absorb the menstrual fluid and distribute it evenly throughout the pad. The absorbent core is the central layer responsible for absorbing and retaining the fluid. The back sheet acts as a barrier to prevent any leakage. Lastly, the siliconised paper is often used as a backing for the adhesive side of the pad, allowing it to securely attach to the undergarment. The combination of these layers ensures that sanitary pads effectively fulfil their intended purpose and provide women with comfort and protection during menstruation.

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Updated On : 24th Sep, 2023
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