Why Cloth Pads?

  1. Health:

Firstly for health reasons, this would be the choice. Hannahpads are made from organic cotton, there are no polyester or microfibers against your skin. The benefits of having a 100% natural fibre against your skin ( not synthetic or mixed fibres) are that there are less irritation, it is breathable and does not harbour fungi and bacteria. According to Dr. Mercola most items that come in contact with your skin, will end up in your bloodstream and get distributed throughout your body. Therefore do not put things on your body that you would not eat. Putting chemicals on your skin may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body.

However, when chemicals come in contact with your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without any kind of filtering, going directly to your delicate organs. And once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down. And to make matters worse, the skin around the vagina is very permeable. Andrea Donsky, founder of Naturally Savvy and co-author of Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart, reveals just how little we are allowed to know about the ingredients used in feminine hygiene products. See her full reference on http://.NaturallySavvy.com/references

According to her research, each conventional sanitary pad contains the equivalent of about four plastic bags! With everything we now know about the hazardous nature of plastic chemicals, this alone is cause for concern.

For example, plasticizing chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development and are linked to heart disease and cancer. Phthalates — which give paper tampon applicators that smooth feel and finish — are known to disregulate gene expression, and DEHP may lead to multiple organ damage. Besides crude oil plastics, conventional sanitary pads can also contain a myriad of other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odour neutralizers and fragrances. Synthetics and plastic also restrict the free flow of air and can trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting the growth of yeast and bacteria in your vaginal area.

Furthermore, to give tampons and pads that pristine, “clean” white look, the fibers used must be bleached. Chlorine is commonly used for this, which can create toxic dioxin and other disinfection-by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethane. Studies show that dioxin collects in your fatty tissues, and according to a draft report by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxin a serious public health threat that has no "safe" level of exposure! Published reports show that even low or trace levels of dioxins 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

Meanwhile, the FDA's official stance regarding trace amounts of dioxins is that there are no expected health risks associated with trace amounts of dioxins in tampons... Naturally Savvy notes that 10 years ago, House Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation that would have required research into the potential health risks of any ingredient used in feminine hygiene products, including endometriosis, cervical, ovary and breast cancers. Unfortunately, the legislation did not pass, and it does not appear that any such research has been done.

Andrea discovered a number of shocking details about the potential hazards posed by tampons and sanitary pads during her research for the book, Label Lessons, such as3:

  • Conventional tampons contain pesticides... Cotton crops make up just 2.4 percent of the world’s land, but each year a whopping $2 billion is spent on pesticides to spray this one crop.
  • Tampons and pads with odour neutralizers and other artificial fragrances are nothing short of a chemical soup laced with artificial colours, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility.

Conventional tampons most probably contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According the USDA, 94 percent of all the cotton planted in the US is genetically engineered.

For a detailed description of the ingredients and the risk each poses please see the below link.


Of these dioxin is probably the worst chemical which has been linked to cancer and endometriosis. See http://wombwithastory.blogspot.com/2010/01/tampons-endometriosis-and-infertility.html

Another danger in using the disposable products according to Dr Mercola is Toxic Shock Syndrome.

It’s important to remember that tampons can create a favourable environment for bacteria growth. Micro tears in the vaginal wall from tampons allow bacteria to enter and accumulate. One recognized risk from tampon use is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which may be caused by poisonous toxins from either Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. TSS can be a life-threatening condition, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms. Should any of the following symptoms arise while using tampons during your period, make sure you seek medical help:

Sudden high fever



Low blood pressure


Rash on palms or soles of feet

Muscle aches

Redness of your eyes, mouth and/or throat


 To minimize your risk of this potentially life-threatening condition:

Avoid super absorbent tampons - choose the lowest absorbency rate to handle your flow

Never leave a tampon inserted overnight; use overnight pads instead

When inserting a tampon, be extremely careful not to scratch your vaginal lining (avoid plastic applicators)

Alternate the use of tampons with sanitary napkins or mini-pads during your period

Change tampons at least every 4-6 hours

Do not use a tampon between periods


    2. Comfort

    Cotton Cloths are so much more comfortable than disposables. Due to the fact that they allow your skin to breathe, there is no more sweaty, itchy, rashy feelings with chafy and noisy plastic. No longer would you run out of pads at the most inconvenient times. Once you get to know how often to change your pads, and which panties to wear with your pads, you will not leak.


      3. Environmental Impact
      On average most women menstruate for 40 years of their lives and use 20 – 25 pads per cycle. In your lifetime you will discard 8000 – 10000 pads or tampons. This is 135kg of disposable menstrual products, full of chemicals, wood pulp and petroleum based plastic. Your products will not break down in the lifetime of your great great grandchildren! The environmental impact goes beyond just the landfills. Huge amounts of resources are needed in manufacturing, packaging and transporting these products. Tampons clog plumbing, sewage overflows and these end up on our beaches.

      4.Cost Saving
      If you take care of your Hannahpads (see washing instructions), they could easily last 3-4 years. So although it might be a big upfront expense, you will save much over the years to come.