Log in

No account? Create an account
Baby Bloodheart
13 October 2011 @ 04:16 pm
Not sure if we've ever had an in-depth explanation about coloured cups, possible health issues in particular, but this mornings news letter from Mooncup goes into some detail about why they never plan to make a coloured cup, thought some might be interested so the following is copied and pasted from Mooncup's newsletter/web site; 

October 2011 "Would you like crushed beetle with your menstrual cup, madam?"
(or Why the Mooncup Will Always be Dye-Free) 

Over the years, we’ve occasionally been asked if we have plans to make the Mooncup in different colours. Our answer has always been ‘no’ – quite simply because dyeing the Mooncup is at odds with the health, ethical and environmental benefits characteristic of the Mooncup and our company. Cathy Marchand, Mooncup Ltd.’s Nurse Advisor and Research Officer, explains why:

Health: a dubious safety record
Since 1918, it has been known that toxins can be absorbed into the blood stream through the vagina. Coloured menstrual cups are either made with the addition of food colouring or pigments.

Food colourings are used to encourage people to buy certain foods over others. They have a chequered safety history, which has led to strict regulations around food additives being developed, as some colourings were found to be carcinogenic and have a systemic effect on the body. Several types of artificial food dyes that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, USA) had originally approved for use in food have since been banned, as subsequent research determined that these were no longer safe for human consumption.

Standards and regulations on food colourings, including maximum daily limits, vary throughout the world, with some regulations being more stringent than others. In America, for example, ‘F’, ‘D’ and ‘C’ numbers (which generally indicate that the FDA has approved the colourant for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics) are given to approved synthetic food dyes that do not exist in nature, while in the European Union ‘E’ numbers are used for all additives, both synthetic and natural, that are approved in food applications.

The pigments industry is distinct from the dyes industry, which manufactures a separate class of chemicals. Many pigments are not biodegradable and are often made from petroleum products. As with the disposal of any chemicals, there are a variety of environmental concerns associated with the manufacturing and handling of pigments, including how best to dispose of them without polluting fresh water sources

The material we use to make the Mooncup – medical grade silicone – was chosen by us because of its excellent and universal safety record: we do not want to compromise the health of Mooncup users by using unnecessary additives that may have a question mark over their safety now or in the future.

Environment: a commitment to people and animal-friendly practices 
Mooncup Ltd. is proud to have been awarded ‘Ethical Business’ status for its commitment to people and environmentally-friendly practices. Adding another stage to manufacture means more energy is consumed and, when using dyes or pigments, makes the process more complex and less environmentally sensitive.

We are also committed to offering a product that is vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Many natural colourings are animal-derived, such as carmine/cochineal (E120 – red, purple, pink) made from crushed beetles; shellac (E904) from insect secretions; gelatine (orange) made from animal bones; lutein (E161b – deep yellow) from egg yolks and L-Cysteine (E920), sometimes made from hair or feathers.

Call us boring(!), but we’re not willing to compromise our ethical status for a non-essential additive with a dubious health and ethical history.

The Mooncup ethos: Less is More 
As consumers, we are constantly encouraged to buy more products and told that those we already own should be replaced by new items. Using the Mooncup offers women an opportunity to ‘step out’ of the cycle of consumerism in at least one aspect of their lives – and this is one of the reasons that so many women love the product. In our opinion, coloured Mooncups would make something beautifully simple into something unnecessarily complicated. We also think the Mooncup looks rather nice just the way it is.

Source; Mooncup UK - http://www.mooncup.co.uk/about-us/news/all-news/coloured-menstrual-cups.html#anchor2?utm_source=Sign-Up.to&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=250329-Autumn+newsletter+11%2F10%2F2011 

Note this is from Mooncup, what this says of other cup companies who do sell coloured cups is up to you to determine. I personally don't think coloured cups are a major issue; they're a bit of fun and can encourage more women to use cups, over products with more questionable safety and less transparancy about manufacturing such as commercial tampons. 
m03m on October 13th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
crushed beetle, really ?? sure that's icky, even if you don't care too much for the poor beetle...

Meh, after all they're used to colour food, too... I'm not sure this is worse. I'm not sure that this kind of coloring is used in cups at all, either.
Baby Bloodheartbabybloodheart on October 13th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
I never understood the 'ick' factor with cochineal, as you say it's used in food and most people don't care, in cosmetics and in medications too, hell I use it daily to stain my lips.

I do wonder if it is actually used in cups. I also wonder whether Mooncup bringing this subject up will result in other cup brands coming forward to explain more about their manufacturing methods when it comes to coloured cups.
juliiie87juliiie87 on October 13th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
Like I said, I'm not even a vegeterian, and I'm sure I use plenty of crushed beetle (lol) myself. And true, we don't even know for sure what other companies put in the colored cups. Nor do I think we will anytime soon.
Lebannen Luitreath: ???lebannen on October 13th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that this kind of coloring is used in cups at all, either.


As far as I can tell, it says 'here is some SCIENCE!!1! Also, we don't want to do colours'.

I am mildly interested to know about the apparent difference in colours between the UK Mooncup of a few years ago (slightly yellowish) and the version currently on sale (apparently not so yellow). It has been medical grade silicone, it still is ... but there is still colour variation within this definition. HMMM.
Maxine of Arcmaxineofarc on October 14th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
While they point out that some natural dyes are derived from animal sources, they do skip over the fact that there are plenty that aren't. If they don't care to offer colored cups (and that's fine; I'm not interested in buying a colored cup myself, on the grounds that I won't be looking at it much anyway), that's perfectly fine, but the way they've worded this seems to be a subtle swipe at other companies that do use dyes ("we're not SAYING other companies use toxic ingredients BUT"). It's interesting in that it suggests the industry has gotten large enough that there's a sense of competition developing among manufacturers.
ever so slightly obsessedscien on October 14th, 2011 07:16 am (UTC)
They did announce that at one point. I can't remember exactly, but it was something like they were moving sites of production and/or redesigning the cup a little and/or something like that, and the materials would be slightly different.