Groundbreaking Legislation is the First of Its Kind in United States
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2019
Contact: Chris Dobens, 212-961-1000 ext. 320, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBANY, NY — WE ACT for Environmental Justice is celebrating the passage of the New York State Menstrual Product Labeling Act, which was sponsored by Senator Roxanne J. Persaud (D-Brooklyn) and passed the Senate (S02387B) by a 51-11 vote and was sponsored by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) and passed the Assembly (A164B) by a 146-0 vote yesterday. WE ACT – in partnership with Clean and Healthy New York, the JustGreen Partnership, and Women’s Voices for the Earth – was instrumental in generating interest and support for this legislation, which requires manufacturers of period products sold in New York State to disclose the list of ingredients used in their menstrual products by affixing a label on their packaging so that it is visible to consumers prior to purchase. Eighteen months after the Governor signs the bill into law, manufacturers will have to comply with this new legislation.
“This legislation is critical for safeguarding the health of menstruators in New York State because there was no regulation concerning the use of materials in period products and many of those currently on the market contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive harm,” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director and Director of Policy Initiatives at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “Women using these products are often unaware that they are exposing themselves to these toxic chemicals, and the risk is amplified by the fact that the vagina is one of the most absorbent areas of a woman’s body, which means that these chemicals are more likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream.”
According to a 2013 report by Women’s Voices for the Earth, period products are a $3-billion industry in the United States, and the most popular products are tampons and menstrual pads, which are used by 70-85 percent of American women. Manufacturers do offer some products that are free of the most harmful chemicals, but these are priced at a premium, which forces women in low-income communities to have to choose between financial and bodily health.
“We want to thank the sponsors of the bill, Senator Roxanne Persaud and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, for their leadership in getting it passed,” noted Corbin-Mark.
“Our hope is that this legislation will better educate the public about the dangerous chemicals found in these products as well as put pressure on manufacturers to avoid using harmful chemicals in their products altogether,” added Corbin-Mark. “No woman should have to choose between her financial and physical health.”
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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.