Inspiration from Meghan

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Part 1, Tampax Tampons: Toxic Sticks of Death


I can't help but wonder if Mr. Cutlet, or someone like him, was the genius that came up with the tampon. It's all pretty and white and fluffy. It comes in a little flowery, pink, plastic package and essentially removes us ladies from any contact with our body and the filthiness that is The Period. Am I wrong on this? It's gross right?

No, it's not gross! It's not necessarily something you want to frame and hang on your wall, but it is what makes us ladies. We are an all inclusive package that comes with tummies, hips, bums, boobs, an occasional bout of The Crazies, and for the most part, we also get our periods. We are all very careful about how we dress up the hips and bums, attempt to hide the tummies and struggle to lift and squeeze the boobs, but how much thought do we give to a product we use on a monthly basis in the absolute most intimate of regions?

Have you actually thought about what is getting inserted into your vag for 3-7 days out of the month?

It wasn't until my first class in nutrition school, Nutrition And The Environment, that I actually gave it any thought at all. I decided to write my term paper on just that, the chemicals used in the processing of conventional tampons. And wouldn't you know it, I discovered that they seriously were like Toxic Sticks of Death.

Consider this: The average woman, menstruating for five days a month for 38 years will use approximately 11,400 tampons in a lifetime. With roughly 73 million menstruating women in America, the toxicity levels of commercial brands of tampons is a major concern.

Now because I like to stir the pot, as my grandma says, I wanted to find out what actually went into the 'pon. I may have had better luck breaking in to Fort Knox. Ingredients are listed on nearly every product we buy these days but not tampons. Tampons, a product that requires contact over an extended period of time with one of the body’s most porous and highly absorbent mucous membranes, are categorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a ‘medical device’. Therefore, manufacturers are not required to adhere to the same labeling regulations as food, drugs or cosmetics.

As with toxicity testing for chemical residues in our food supply, testing on chemical levels in tampons is done by the manufacturer or private researcher with findings presented to regulating bodies for review.  Essentially, the scientists researching whether or not tampons are safe are getting their paycheques from the people who make and sell tampons.

Proctor & Gamble, the manufacturers of Tampax brand tampons, are keen to keep secret the chemical-soup tampon recipe. Seeing that North American women spend an average of two billion dollars per year on these chemical laced commercial brand sanitary napkins and tampons, the truth about these toxic products will not be revealed anytime soon.

My question of course, is what are they hiding? You know that when someone starts trying to cover something up- something fishy is going down.

Alas- I never suggest you  avoid something without first explaining why, and then offering an alternative. The Diva Cup,  my sweet fertile ladies, is my top top top recommendation. It is fan-freaking amazing. Change it twice a day, no fuss, no muss. Yeah, you do have to get up into the bits a little more intimately than you might be accustomed to- but if you aren't wanting to get up in there, why should you expect anyone else to either. Over the next couple of days, I will be sharing more info with you on the hazards of the 'Pon.

Over the next few days, I will be sharing info from my research paper, Tampax Tampons: Toxic Sticks of Death. If you prefer, you can download the entire document with references, at no charge, here.

109 Responses to “Part 1, Tampax Tampons: Toxic Sticks of Death”

  1. [...]  Speaking of that time of month…anyone catch Meghan’s articles Toxic Sticks of Death? [...]
  2. Brittany said… October 27, 2009
    After reading this, I found a nutrition store that carries the Diva Cup and bought one. That first day, I was so nervous that I'd put it in wrong, or that it might slip and I'd have an oops moment during dinner with my sis. But by the end of the night, it had earned my trust, and I was hooked. By the end of the week, I felt a shift in my mindset similar to what others have described. I became at peace with my cycle and started to view it as a beautiful, natural part of being a woman, rather than an icky monthly pain-in-the-arse that contaminated my body for 5-6 days and had to be disposed of like toxic waste. It was surprising to say the least. Not to mention I am actually spending way less on this than I was on tampons. It kinda helps balance out the extra money I spend on recycled products and organic/local food! Thanks again for the insight and advice.
  3. [...] GREAT! I bought it about three or four years ago based on concerns about tampons and their toxicity for my body, their high cost, and their environmental impact, and I’ve never looked back [...]
  4. Whitney Boyachek said… October 30, 2011
    I never really realized all the downfalls of tampons...and would love to try the diva cup! Would be better to win it! ;)
  5. [...] Telpner has a fabulous blog post where she gives away a free printable expose that she wrote on the tampon industry.  In it, she [...]

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