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Shocking: Why Tampons and Pads are Some of the Worst Poisons We Face

  • Published on: 21 December, 2013
  • Last update: 26 January, 2016

Did you know that feminine hygiene companies don’t have to disclose the ingredients in their tampons and pads because they’re considered ‘medical devices’? Yup. Another loophole that leaves us in the dark. This is a topic I feel is so important to talk about because every single woman uses feminine products – it’s a part of life (duh!) Yet, so many of us blindly use the big-name brands that are on sale thinking they’re all the same and would have to be safe in order to be on shelves. Wrong and wrong.

Every woman should take the time and look at her pads and tampons after reading this. This shocked and angered me when I first researched the topic. Tampons have always irritated me and basically every female I know has either bad cramps, hormonal acne and disruption, extremely painful periods, irregular periods, or skips periods. I do not know anyone with a normal period. Nature should not hurt. This is NOT how it is supposed to be.

Aside from the pollutants we already know are harming our hormone composition such as pesticides, GMO’s (a big cause of infertility/missed periods), and parabens or sulfates in soaps and shampoos, let’s look at the actual products we are putting inside of our most private bodily area: tampons. Let’s also look at pads, since they come into direct and constant contact with this sensitive skin.

  • Fact: The skin around the vaginal area is highly vascular meaning it is incredibly permeable to compounds and chemicals.

As I’m sure everyone knows, this skin is a different texture, thin, has many pores that secrete all types of liquids, and is very sensitive. Yet look at the ingredients on the box of Tampax… not only does it contain three different kinds of non-organic plant fibers (GMO cotton since it’s not organic, rayon, and polyester) which are covered in pesticides, it contains POLYETHYLENE & POLYPROPYLENE?! WHAT? I’m pretty sure that I did not sign up to put those chemicals inside of my vagina.

Let’s look at the GMO aspect first: Conventional tampons contain pesticides (of course) and are usually GMO. According to the USDA, 94 percent of cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Cotton crops make up just 2.4 percent of the world’s land, but each year a whopping $2 billion is spent on pesticides to spray this one GMO crop. So there’s that.

Now let’s look at the other ingredients: Polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol (PEG), are contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility. And they are all inside the permeable skin of your delicate and sacred female parts every time you use non-organic tampons. Rayon is a cellulose fiber made from wood pulp. It has been associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a systemic and sometimes deadly illness caused by bacteria associated with the use of tampons made with rayon.

  • Andrea Donsky from naturallysavvy.com called Procter & Gamble to ask them what was in their Always Infiniti Pads.

They said it contained “foam and infinicel” but “could not tell her anything else!” Infinicel has over 60 different patents. When you examine the process of some of those patents, you see rubber, glass, and CRUDE OIL. Through Andrea’s research, she discovered that all conventional sanitary pads contain this crude oil plastic, along with harmful chemicals like odor neutralizers and fragrances. The rayon and cotton that these tampons are made of is bleached, and a byproduct called dioxin is released. According to the EPA, dioxin exposure causes cancer in lab animals and poses a high risk to humans as well.

Here’s a little visual to show you just how serious dioxin is..
source: NPR
Residents of Times Beach, Montana were forced to leave their town in December 1982 because the chemical dioxin was found in the soil. It is a ghost town to this day.

And here is a visual of the tampons and pads we have all religiously used to show you just how detrimental they are. Andrea set two different types of pads on fire: “Always Infiniti,” and “Organic Natracare.

source: naturallysavvy.com

The “Always” pads burned quickly with tons of black smoke (toxic), a large flame, and a vile smell.  It left black residue on the plate where it was burning. This indicates the presence of dioxin (a confirmed carcinogen, as we just said), synthetic fibers, petrochemicals, or other additives. The organic pad left no resideue, had nearly no flame, and burned very slowly with clear white smoke.

In 2003, House Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation that would have started research into the health risks associated with feminine hygiene products including endometriosis, breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer. THE LEGISLATION DID NOT PASS. The topic was hushed and NO research has propelled further.

The thing is, that organic pads and tampons are no more expensive than conventional products. And why would you ever want to put money in the pockets of Procter & Gamble? As I’m sure you realize after reading this, buying organic pads and tampons IS A MUST. Please protect your family, friends, daughters, mothers, etc. and share this post. Below I have included pictures of the organic brand I use, which is the same brand Andrea used in her flame test.

 

 

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5 Comments

Nydia

Reply
Hi Olivia! Thank you for another great post. Can you recommend any tampons that would be safe?

Alanna

Reply
Maybe more women should look into the use of Soft Cups or the Diva Cup or some other similar brand? I am not sure about their safety/ingredients but they may be safer and greener than tampons and pads. I haven’t used myself but am going to try them soon! I have read reviews that say less cramping and PMS symptoms with regular use of them. Maybe it is something worth looking into and reporting about on your blog?

Laura

Reply
Thank you for posting this. I always go out of my way for organic food, but never thought about this.

Anonymous

Reply
You are making good points about being concerned about the composition of pads and tampons.you talk about irregular periods and it is known that certain hormonal/repro issues have increased in recent years, but I see no evidence that feminine products are the CAUSE of hormonal imbalance or irregular periods. Something good to investigate. But there have been so many other changes in our lifestyle

Anonymous

Reply
Although I agree on the GMO aspect of this, I believe the information presented on dioxins is a bit misleading. There are 75 congers (different types of dioxins, just like there are diff types of pcb's), the most toxic being 2,3,7,8 TCDD which has a Toxicity equivalent of 1 (some dioxins have a TEQ of .1 etc ). The main dioxin of concern in Times Beach was 2,3,7,8 TCDD, among others, and were

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