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Tampon Tampon

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Organic Tampons and Pads – Having an Environmentally Friendly Period

Problem

Tampons and pads use cotton fibres that, in most cases, have been bleached.  This bleaching process can leave low amounts of dioxin, which is of concern particularly in tampons.  Dioxin is highly carcinogenic.

Fibres that remain behind after a tampon is expanded in the uterus are also causes of fibroids in the uterus later in life.  If these fibres contain bleached cotton, the danger of cancer is even higher. 

Most commercially available tampons also contain viscose rayon and other synthetic fibres which have been shown to increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome through accelerated bacterial growth in the vagina.  Tampons manufactured with cotton only have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of TSS.

Solution

Go Green Living Tips

 

All-Cotton Organic Tampons & Pads

These products are manufactured with no synthetics and unbleached cotton, for the most part.  As with any green product, you should research the brand before adopting them as your regular product.

Super Green Me Tips

 

Avoid Tampons Entirely

Technically, to reduce the risk of fibroids, you should avoid tampons entirely.  Most women will not want to do this, but it does seem like the common sense thing to do.  Women who have fibroids or cysts may want to avoid tampons in order to avoid aggravating them.

Sponges

The menstrual solution for women of ancient times, sea sponges are often available at natural health food stores.  Sponges cannot be advertised as menstrual products as the FDA does not advocate this use, but women have been doing it for thousands of years.

Menstrual Cup

Products like “The Keeper” or the “Diva Cup” are meant to be used by older women past childbearing age.  These menstrual cups are reusable and simply collect the flow and keep it from leaking out.  Similar in application to a diaphragm, menstrual cups circumvent all of the traditional problems with tampons and pads.

Buy Tampons that Use BioPlastics

Some organic tampon brands use cellulose based plastic-like material rather than the more common polyethylene, which causes problems environmentally both in its manufacture and its disposal.

Cloth Pads

Cloth pads are reusable and washable pads that are available from most natural health food stores. 

Effectiveness / Result

The Facts

  • 26% of the world’s pesticides are sprayed on cotton.  Low levels of the pesticide remain in the cotton, even after treatment. 
  • There is no “safe” dose of dioxin, which accumulates in fat cells and is a carcinogen.  Any dioxin in a tampon is bad for your health.  One millionth of a gram can kill a guinea pig. 

 

References

  • Seeing Red – Sanitary Protection and the Environment
  • http://www.wen.org.uk/sanpro/reports/sanpro.pdf
  • EPA Research & Development
  • Report on Dioxins in Tampons – Page 7
  • http://www.epa.gov/NHEERL/publications/files/nheerlreport_0302.pdf
  • Excellent Impartial Article on Tampon Safety
Submitted by angelawest on Aug 5, 2008