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  • Writer's pictureRani

Period Panties that are Actually PFAS-free & Safe

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Reusable period underwear has become popular; many women love wearing them for their period bleeds or postpartum healing. Even though they are popular and marketed as the better option than single-use pads & tampons, it doesn't mean they are 100% safe for your valva.


Here's what happened in the Notre Dame lab test, THINX “organic” hip hugger briefs had 3,267 ppm of fluorine in the inside crotch area. That's an alarming amount of PFAS or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances in their underwear that is against your most absorbent skin. Because of that, a class action lawsuit was filed against THINX, which was recently settled in favour of the plaintiffs. Read more here.


I know it's frustrating to hear that period underwear may be unsafe. It was upsetting to me as I know the women who buy this underwear are A) trying to have a better impact on the environment, B) trying to enjoy their bleeds while being comfortable. And most importantly, buying period underwear isn't cheap.


But at least now we have the knowledge and awareness to make better decisions when purchasing new period underwear. I had THINX underwear too & now I have to find a new reliable company.


So what are PFAS?

PFAS are widely-used, long-lasting chemicals that have stain-and water-resistant qualities. Even low exposures are associated with harmful effects such as cancer and reproductive problems.


PFAS are persistent and toxic in the environment and associated with many health consequences, including:

  • Increased cholesterol levels

  • Decreased vaccine response in children

  • Changes in liver enzymes

  • Increased risk of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women

  • Decreases in infant birth weights

  • Increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer (source)

Since the skin of the vulva is incredibly absorbent, finding period undies that will keep you dry and safe from harmful chemicals is extremely important. (this also means that any single-use tampons or pads you use should be organic & unbleached)


So where does that leave us for options?

Luckily, many brands on the market right now focus on responsible sourcing.

When picking out your period underwear, you want to look for a few things:

  • organic cotton

  • the absorbent area is made of polyester and a layer of PUL that is 3rd party tested by Intertek and Oeko-Tex

    • OEKO-TEX: This certification limits the number of chemicals allowed to be used in products

  • They don’t use chemical sprays, additives, or even odour concealers.

    • For example, the brand Period underwear is made of dyed fabric instead of dyeing the whole garment. They use reactive dye for the fabric.


Recommendations

Leah Segedie of Mamavation (Mamavation test) conducted a test on period underwear and provided a list of PFAS-free underwear. One thing to remember is that Mamavation’s testing has some limitations. It is one snapshot in time, not ongoing testing of every batch. The minimum detectable level is 10 ppm, so, technically speaking, the underwear could have had 9.9 ppm of fluorine, but the list shared didn't detect any. She also tests for fluorine, which is a proxy for PFAS.


  1. Lilova

    1. Have a sexy Organic Cotton Collection (this is the one I purchased)

    2. International shipping available (US company)

  2. The Period Company

    1. International shipping available (US company)

  3. Aisle

    1. Underwear, reusable pads, liners, and cups are available here

    2. Canadian company (BC) - ships internationally

  4. WUKA

    1. Swim bikini & period swimsuit option

    2. International shipping available (UK company)

  5. Modibodi

    1. Materials: Bamboo Viscose, Merino Wool

    2. Worldwide Shopping EU, UK, NZ, AU, US

These are my top 5 favourite picks. Have fun shopping & let me know what brand you are picking in the comments!


*no affiliate links attached in this blog post

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