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Show Notes:

Two U.S. states have already enacted laws requiring disposable hygiene packaging to list ingredients. Other states are considering the same. These policies, which mandate the disclosure of intentionally added ingredients, empower consumers in understanding what is in their favourite menstrual products. But is this level of transparency good news for manufacturers?

In this episode of ‘Attached to Hygiene’, host Jack Hughes explores these questions with Jane Wishneff, Executive Director for The Center for Baby and Adult Hygiene Products (BAHP). Together, they discuss emerging mandates and their current impact. Wishneff also shares what she expects to see in the future for absorbent hygiene products in the United States.

Could 50 States Have 50 Conflicting Policies on AHPs?

The absorbent hygiene product regulations in New York and California are rather different. The New York law, in effect now, is fairly brief. California's law, which begins January 2023, is quite detailed. They also vary in requirements and other important areas. Manufacturers are working to find solutions that will satisfy both sets of directives.

Imagine the complexity the industry will face if all 50 U.S. states pass conflicting laws regarding transparency and sustainability. They may also disagree on where and how the information needs to be provided. Specific packaging for each state would be unworkable. It would also be a disservice to the consumers who are looking to the labels for information. So far, the FDA (America’s Food and Drug Administration) is gathering data but has not enacted any regulations. This has led several industry players to become proactive in offering feasible, transparent solutions.

The European Union (E.U.) has already established regulations and guidelines regarding disposable hygiene products. This brings pressure on America to do likewise. But it also allows lawmakers and manufacturers to learn what works, and what could—or should—be done differently in the U.S. Lastly, American laws can, in a way, borrow the E.U.’s expertise. For example, the California law states that companies cannot claim as a confidential ingredient anything that the E.U. has designated a chemical of concern. The question remains: When, and what shape, will federal regulations take?

Outline of the Episode
  • [03:10] What Wishneff likes most about working in the hygiene industry

  • [04:49] The pressures spurring ingredient disclosure for hygiene products

  • [08:10] The effects of inconsistency in legislation for both consumers and manufacturers

  • [12:08] Exploring ways to increase the availability of information (such as the Smart Label app)

  • [14:45] A patchwork of ingredient disclosure laws: New York, California, and more

  • [18:55] Proactive industry action and building a common, understandable language

  • [20:59] The FDA on ingredient disclosures and UDI (unique devise identifiers)

  • [27:03] Details and background on New York and California ingredient disclosure mandates and regulations

  • [31:39] The European Union’s policies on sustainability help inform U.S. policy

  • [34:15] What are intentionally added and unintentionally added ingredients?

  • [37:46] Wishneff’s advice for U.S. companies: Stay informed. Be a part of the process.

Resources

You can find Jane Wishneff on LinkedIn or leave her a message through our email at hygiene@bostik.com.

You can also access the FemCare Answers Product Ingredient Glossary from BAHP that Jane mentioned in the interview right here!

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Connect with Jack Hughes on LinkedIn. You can also find us at Disposable Hygiene Adhesives on LinkedIn or by visiting the Attached to Hygiene Podcast on our official website.

You can email us with questions, comments, or ideas for future episodes at hygiene@bostik.com.

You can find Attached to Hygiene wherever you get your podcast

Host: Jack Hughes

Music by Jonathan Boyle

Produced and edited by: Jack Hughes with help from Paul Andrews, Michele Tonkovitz, Emory Churness, Nikki Ackerman, and Green Onion Creative.

 

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