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High silver levels in period pants could pose a health risk. Should you be worried?

High silver levels in period pants could pose a health risk. Should you be worried?

A recent study has just shown that high silver levels in period pants could pose a health risk. With headlines circulating and panic building, we knew we needed to look beneath the surface and understand whether we should rethink our approach to one of our favourite sustainable menstrual care options. 

First things first, why would period pants contain silver?

One of the most common worries people have when it comes to period pants is whether they’re hygienic or will smell. That's where silver comes in. Silver is an antimicrobial agent – that is, it kills and stops the growth of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses. Some manufacturers – note, not all – use silver to combat smells or odours in their period pant design. 

What risk could silver in period pants pose to my health?

Recently, scientists have been cautioning about the potential health risks associated with silver. The US Food and Drug Administration discovered that nanosilver can kill good bacteria – a.k.a lactobacillus – in the vagina that fight off infections. This might make people who use period pants more at risk of harmful bacteria, which could lead to increased risk of vaginal infections and potential problems during pregnancy.

How do I know if my period pants contain silver?

Unfortunately, there are currently no legal limits in the UK about how much silver can be added to period pants. We know, we think it's mad too. To make matters more difficult, manufacturers do not have to declare the presence of silver on their packaging or website.

Consumer rights group Which? worked with Italian consumer organisation, Altroconsumo, to test a range of popular period pants brands for silver, and discovered that Intima by Bodyform and pants by Marks & Spencer in particular contained notably more silver than other brands. 

We’re pleased to share that the tests Which? carried out detected no silver in our bestselling WUKA pants. 

What about period pants brands not included in the study?

Of course, the study carried out by Which? and Altroconsumo didn’t include every single period pants brand, so we got to work. We reached out to our friends at fluxies, the manufacturers behind some of cult favourite period pants style and asked about their policy on silver. 

The good news – fluxies don’t use silver in their manufacturing process. 

“We have not incorporated this treatment into our products or any of the materials we use, at any point of production.” a representative of fluxies told us.  “In 2018, prior to entering mass production, we informally tested materials containing Silver. Our findings revealed that it did not exhibit a significant ‘anti-odour’ effect compared to untreated materials and so we made the decision not to integrate it into our product.”

Instead, fluxies uses entirely natural odour control methods. Fluxies period pants have a moisture-wicking top layer, a super absorbent middle layer, which traps blood, and a protective outer layer which prevents leaks or stains. These three layers working together not only prevent leakages, but also prevent any smells. Nice!

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