Tag Archives | toxic tampons

Genetically Modified Tampons?

There have been very few things in my journey that I’ve recommended to ditch immediately after researching. I normally say save the cleaners, personal care products, processed food, etc. because you’ll always be in a pinch and can take the opportunity to use them up. The one product I would say dispose of right away are traditional tampons. A few days ago, I turned into a sleuth at a local store and snapped a photo of the materials listed on the back of a tampon box. Why? I really thought the materials listed would have changed since I first researched tampons 4 years ago. When I first wrote this article, I was horrified to find out polyester was an ingredient in tampons. I was just starting to remove materials like polyester from being close to my family because one daughter has eczema and natural fibers were less irritating for her skin. The other part of researching polyester was finding out that flame retardant properties are naturally occurring in this material. So if this is true, I still have to ask tampon manufacturers where polyester is used in the make-up of a tampon and why this petroleum based plastic is doing in a menstrual product? Researching the exact materials and chemical components of tampons is difficult because this information is kept proprietary. Unlike personal care products, makeup, etc. tampons adhere to a different criteria of labeling because they are a medical device. Kind of the same thing as sex toys labelled as gag gifts so you don’t need to discover that plastic dildos are made from PVC – the most toxic form of plastic on the market. It’s beyond disgusting and because these products are used in such an intimate part of the body that is highly porous, absorbent and toxins thrive in tissue.

With spending so much of my life thinking about genetically modified food and how to avoid it, I had another really scary thought about traditional tampons. How do we know if they are made from genetically modified cotton – otherwise known as BT cotton? This form of cotton is grown from GM seed and grows resistance to antibiotics. It adds a whole new layer to the cotton industry and for woman that use non-organic tampons. Even conventional cotton is grown using heavy pesticides and we know toxins released into our body from pesticides like to live in fat cells.

The only positive difference I can find 4 years later with tampons is the industry changed their bleaching standards for the rayon (wood pulp) that is mixed with cotton for absorbancy. But the fact is trace amounts of dioxin can still exist from whitening and the heavy processing that occurs to make wood pulp a soft and fluffy form of rayon.  So here we have the 3 active materials used in a tampon: polyester, cotton, and rayon. Nothing but pesticides, petroleum, chemicals, and possibly trace amounts of dioxin or flame retardants. We give our teenagers these products to use because they are straight forward, inexpensive, disposable, and easy for them to manage. We need to think about teenage girls and their long term health. Could tampon use over a 20 year period contribute to infertility problems, inflammatory disease and Endometriosis?

Since writing that first article about tampons four years ago, I really only made one permanent change to my routine. No tampons. If I have to go swimming in the summer with the kids, I buy organic cotton tampons. I always meant to try a Mooncup or Diva Cup but I’m not a huge fan of silicone. For the most part I use reusable pads (Lunapads) and disposable pads for heavy days.

I encourage you to tell 3 people that might still be using traditional tampons. I think teenagers and young adults are the highest users. Use the graphic below to think about the three main ingredients of traditional tampons and their level of toxicity. Make the switch, tell 3 friends, make an impact.

Share
sig

5

Dioxins ~ The Last Place You Want Them

Okay male Mommy Footprint readers, just grit your teeth and we’ll all get through this article.  It’s not one you need to commit to memory, but you do need to forward it to the women in your life. Tampons and sanitary pads are not a topic even moms chat openly about.  After wondering what makes tampons so white (suspecting bleach), I’ve done some digging and am again surprised at why so many products are toxic to women’s heath ~ makeup, deodorant, personal care are others to list a few. 

The only negative I’d heard about tampons before researching this article is the small risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome if the tampon is not managed properly.  Well this is not the only concern women should have and I’ve learned most brands actually produce toxic tampons!  Non-organic brands are made of rayon (a derivative of wood pulp) or rayon cotton blends that is chlorine bleached to make them look clean and white.  By using this method of bleaching, dioxins are produced and are a known carcinogen (cancer).  Could dioxin exposure actually be the cause of endometriosis, fertility problems, reproductive disease, cancer, fibroids as the growth of these diseases climbs? 

Facts that we know about tampons and the dioxins non-organic tampon brands produce:

› The process of chlorine bleaching to make tampons appear clean and white produce dioxin.

› Dioxin collects in the fatty cells/tissues of animals and humans and stays there for the rest of our lives.

› Synthetic fibers remain inside a woman’s uterus after a tampon’s been removed.

› Only trace amounts of dioxins remain from tampons, but these amounts add up and remain over time and a typical woman uses 12,000 tampons in her lifetime.

Learning this stopped me from ever using one of these chlorine bleached products again.  I won’t be using up my left-over Tampax and went to Planet Organic today to purchase chlorine-free organic cotton tampons and pads. Yes, it’s not the most fun topic I’ve posted at Mommy Footprint, but it might be one of the most important.  Read the facts and replace traditional sanitary pads and tampons with a safer alternative.  7th Generation can also be found at Whole Foods and provides tampons free of rayon, whitened without chlorine, made with 100% organic cotton.  And although pads are not absorbed inside your body, I would recommend replacing pads too because they are treated and whitened with the same process as tampons.

Please note www.mommyfootprint.com has a subscription option.  If you would like to be notified with a brief summary email when new articles are placed on the site, please scroll to the top of this page and subscribe with your email address.

Share
sig

5

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes