August 30, 2007

Tough choice for women

THIS issue is overwhelming. But it is something to think about especially now that more people are getting involved in environmental issues and are on their own, starting to take the necessary steps to heal Mother Earth.

Sanitary pads: A feminine challenge
BY ISA LORENZO, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

THEY COME with or without wings, ultra-thin or maxi, regular, extra long, or g-string. One can also have them unscented, but some brands tout scents like lavender and baby powder. There are sanitary napkins with green tea, while others boast of additives such as aloe vera and vitamin E. Recently, a Chinese company launched a sanitary pad that it says contains anions, which purportedly decrease bacteria and even gradually eliminate dysmenorrhea.

Modern sanitary napkins have come a long way since the days when women would try to contain their monthly flow with thick pads of cloth. Yet for all the innovations manufacturers of sanitary napkins have come up with to ease women’s discomfort during "those days" of the month, they seem to be stumped by this challenge: producing a practical yet eco-friendly sanitary pad.

Environmental groups like Bangon Kalikasan Movement (BKM) say the mountains of trash in dumpsites like Payatas in Quezon City contain a very hefty share of soiled baby diapers and used sanitary napkins. The trash in Payatas has piled up to a towering 50 feet, equivalent to five stories. Seven years ago, a thousand people were killed when the trash came tumbling down on scavengers and those living in huts near the steaming mounds of garbage.

(For the rest of the piece, click Tough choice.)

The alternatives to what are being currently practiced may be impractical for most, but are clearly safer for the environment. Despite my being a staunch environmentalist, I must admit, I find it difficult to choose Mother Earth over practicality, reliability, convenience in this case. I'm at a loss on this one.

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