Anion strips in sanitary napkins?

Anion strips in sanitary napkins? Just another far-fetched marketing gimmick. The pseudoscientific claims on that website are ludicrous.

“In certain types of environment (such as the mountainous area), the inhabitants are free from troubles of inflammation and generally live longer. This is obviously related to the fact that the air there contains abundant anions.”  No they aren’t; no they don’t; and no it isn’t related, obviously or otherwise.

”Almost all types of female genital inflammation are caused by anaerobic bacteria.” Oh really? What about yeast, Trichomonas, herpes, dermatitis…?

“The anionic tape in ‘Love Moon’ sanitary napkin emits high density of anions, it also produces abundant ionized oxygen to fundamentally change the anaerobic environment.”  Even if that were true on the sanitary pad, you wouldn’t expect it to affect anaerobes inside the vagina.

Anions “promote biological enzymic transformation and balance the acidity and alkalinity. At the same time, under normal temperature, it can emit biological magnetic wave of wavelength 4 to 14 micron at more than 90% emission rate which is beneficial to the human body as it can activate the water molecules in the cells to make them exist at high energy level suitable for synthesis of biological enzymes.”  This is just meaningless blather. I was going to say “twaddle” but that would sound like I was reaching for a pun.

Other sanitary napkins supposedly facilitate the growth of “trichomonad bacteria that can destroy sperms in the vagina to cause infertility.”  Umm…trichomonads aren’t bacteria; they’re protozoans. They don’t destroy sperm although they may reduce sperm motility.

Winalite offers a patented vaginitis self-test card. If they can diagnose vaginitis that way, medical science would love to know about it.

Other websites claim this product can reduce fatigue, improve immunity, improve blood flow, and repair the womb. All the claims are pure fantasy; the product hasn’t even been tested.

What does science say about negative ions and health?

According to Wikipedia (not my favorite source, but they got it right this time):  “Negative air ionization can reduce the concentration of bioaerosols and dust particles in the air by causing them to bond, forming larger particles and thus falling out of the air. This may help reduce infection due to airborne contamination” – in chickens. Ionization was shown to reduce transmission of the Newcastle Disease Virus when the ionizer was placed between the upwind and downwind chickens.

Otherwise, science has not found any particular benefit from a greater concentration of negative ions in the air, much less on sanitary pads in the crotch. According to Mr. Static, “…the negative-ion myth and the ion-balance myth are nothing but that, myths.”

There is usually a grain of truth behind claims like these: tampons do increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) although sanitary pads don’t. If Winalite can prove these anion strips improve health, I’ll eat one.


This article was originally published in Swift, the newsletter of the James Randi Educational Foundation.

Dr. Hall is a contributing editor to both Skeptic magazine and the Skeptical Inquirer. She is a weekly contributor to the Science-Based Medicine Blog and is one of its editors. She has also contributed to Quackwatch and to a number of other respected journals and publications. She is the author of Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly: The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon and co-author of the textbook, Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions.

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