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Dangers of Tampons

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just recieved this message in an e-mail from a friend. I'm sure some of you already know this and have been using the more natural/organic brands of tampons for a long time ~ For me this is one of the last things I've held out on switching over to simply due to the expense, but now, like all the other comercially made things, I can't afford to use them anymore and although the organic seems more costly in the short run ~ they are CERTAINLY less costly in the long run!!!!!
Please read this and pass it on to others!


Please pass on to as many women as possible . . . If you are a woman
and use pads, but especially if you use tampons, read this and pass on to your friends (for the men receiving this email, please forward it to your friends, significant others, sisters, mothers, daughters, wife, etc.) Thanks!
Next time you buy tampons or sanitary pads read the product box, and see whether you spot any of the familiar signs stated in this email.
No wonder so many women in the world suffer from cervical cancer and
womb tumors. Have you heard that tampon makers include asbestos in
tampons? Why would they do this? Because asbestos makes you bleed more, if you bleed more, you're going to need to use more.
Considering asbestos is so dangerous, why isn't this against the law? Because asbestos laws relate to ingestable products only - tampons don't fall in to this category so escape on a technicality.
This month's Essence magazine has a small article about this and they mention two manufacturers of a cotton tampon alternative. The
companies are:
Organic Essentials @ (800) 765-6491 and Terra Femme @(800)755-0212.
A woman getting her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in Boulder sent
the following:
"I am writing this because women are not being informed about the
dangers of something most of us use - tampons. I am taking a class this
month in which I have been learning a lot about biology and feminine hygiene. Recently we have learned that tampons are dangerous for other reasons than TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). After learning about this in our class, most of the females wound up feeling angry and upset with the tampon industry, and I for one, am going to do something about it. To start, I want to inform everyone I can, and email is the fastest way that I know how.
HERE IS THE SCOOP: Tampons contain two things that are potentially
harmful: Rayon (for absorbency), and dioxin (a chemical used in bleaching the products). The tampon industry is convinced that we, as women, need bleached white products in order to view the product as pure and clean. The problem here is that the dioxin produced in this bleaching process can lead to very harmful problems for women. Dioxin is potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing)and is toxic to the immune and productive systems. It has also been linked to endometriosis and lower sperm counts for men - for both, it breaks down the immune system.
Last September the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported
that there is no set "acceptable" level of exposure to dioxin
given that it is accumulative and slow to disintegrate. The real danger comes from repeated contact (Karen Houppert "Pulling the Plug on the Tampon Industry"). I'd say using about 4-5 tampons a day, five days a month, for 38 menstruating years is "repeated contact," wouldn't you? Rayon contributes to the danger of tampons and dioxin because it is a highly absorbent substance. Therefore, when fibers from the tampons are left behind in the vagina (as usually occurs), it creates a breeding ground for the dioxin. It also stays in a lot longer than it would with just cotton tampons. This is also the reason why TSS (toxic shock syndrome) occurs.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES? Using feminine hygiene products that aren't bleached and that are all cotton. Other feminine hygiene products (pads/napkins) contain dioxin as well, but they are not nearly as dangerous since they are not in direct contact with the vagina. The pads/napkins need to stop being bleached, but obviously tampons are the most dangerous. So, what can you do if you can't give up using tampons? Use tampons that are made from 100% cotton, and that are UNBLEACHED. Unfortunately, there are very few companies that make these safe tampons. They are usually only found in health food stores. Countries all over the world (Sweden, German, British Columbia, etc.) have demanded a switch to this safer tampon, while the U.S. has not. In 1989, activists in England mounted a campaign against chlorine bleaching. Six weeks and 50,000 letters later, the makers of sanitary products switched to oxygen bleaching (one of the green methods
available). (MS magazine, May/June 1995.)
WHAT TO DO NOW: Tell people. Everyone. Inform them. We are being
manipulated by this industry and the government, let's do something about it!
Please write to the companies:
Tampax (Tambrands), Playtex, O.B., Kotex (the contact details are on the tampon boxes). Let them know that we demand a safe product - COTTON UNBLEACHED TAMPONS.
PS. In order not to lose the impact of this email, it is suggested that anyone who wants to forward to friends, PLEASE copy this mail and paste to a NEW message. This way will not distort the whole message with all the forward arrows. Please do this with consideration and seriousness.

post #2 of 10
The part about asbestos is false, according to a number of reliable sources which unfortunately I don't have on hand right now. The part about rayon and dioxin is true. (Except: dioxin is not "a chemical used in bleaching the products"; it is a by-product created when wood-pulp materials such as rayon and paper are bleached with chlorine.)

Yes, organic unbleached tampons are expensive. A better choice is the Keeper, a reusable menstrual cup. I've had mine for 5 years and love it! It costs $30-40 but pays for itself in a few months. It's totally convenient because you don't have to carry around spares; you just empty it and put it back in, and you don't have to do that very often because it holds about twice as much as a tampon. It's much better for the environment because all you throw away is your flow. And it has a money-back guarantee!!! No, I don't work for them, I just love the product!

I have a Webpage with links to sites that sell the Keeper and other alternative menstrual products: Check it out! I'm working on an update which is badly needed, but at least some of the links still work!

Feel free to ask me any question about the Keeper or cloth pads. I'm happy to post gory details if it will help the Earth!
post #3 of 10
I personally prefer cloth menstrual pads. There are many organic brands, They are reusable- so really save $$ in the long run. And there's no waste products!
I like Kristins Cloth pads, as well as Maiden Comforts hemp fleece pads, and Sugar Plum Baby snap & go pads. But there's tons of other great ones out there, as well!!
The Seap Sponge is another natural al;ternative to tampons.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK Enviro Becca ~ Gory details of the Keeper please ~ I checked out your website (very nice by the way ) and the link to the keeper but I'd love to hear for someone that has used it for so long ~ It sounds like a great product though ~ I've always wanted to use Glad Rags or something similar, but I HATE pads so this sounds like a wonderful way to go, Thanks for the info and the correction about asbestos ~ that e-mail really hit me though so I had to share it
post #5 of 10
The Keeper is the bomb! And, it's much, much cheaper than organic tampons. Your one time cost is $35 and it lasts 10 years, which means you spend about $.03 per month, if you use it for the full 10 years. I've only used mine for 2 menstrual cycles, but it is so liberating. It's like you don't even have your period.
post #6 of 10
I just wanted to say that I hated and never used pads until I went fabric(anti-tampons ). It is a completely different feel and experience. Just because you hate paper pads don't assume you'll hate fabric. I"ve been using them 7+ years.

Also don't forget to use that captured flow to fertilize your plants. They love it.
post #7 of 10
Greenmama, I agree--I thought I hated pads until I won a cloth pad in an online contest and tried it! It's hard to explain, but somehow they just don't feel yucky the way disposable pads do. I'm sort of afraid to put the flow on my plants tho--what if they like it and come after me trying to get more?!

Gory details of the Keeper...you didn't ask any specific questions, so I'll try to give an overview of the experience, and just ask more questions if you want to! I have a very heavy flow, and regular size tampons will last me as little as 45 minutes at times, but I only have to empty the Keeper when I would be going to the bathroom anyway. Toward the end of my period, or when I'm expecting to start at any moment, I just leave it in all day. It's much better for light flow than tampons, which I find very hard to remove when not saturated.

In a public restroom, I just wipe it with toilet paper and re-insert. At home, I rinse it in the sink every time. Once a day in the shower, I wash it with hot water and soap. At the end of my period, I fill it with peroxide and hold it for a minute or two to let anything caught in the tiny holes around the rim come bubbling out. (Peroxide makes the rubber feel rough, but that goes away after a few hours and doesn't seem to indicate any damage.) That's the extent of the maintenance! It must be adequately sanitary, because I've actually had FEWER urinary tract infections since I got it and no vaginal infections.

The Keeper is fairly large (bigger than a cervical cap, smaller than a diaphragm) and you have to put 2 or 3 fingertips in with it, so it's not for virgins or the squeamish! Learning to get it in with a good seal, and learning to get it out without spilling it on your hand, take a bit of practice. I recommend pushing up long sleeves, moving skirt well out of the way, and checking thighs for droplets afterward. Another thing to check for as you finesse your technique is blood splashes on the underside of the toilet seat. (I would never have noticed, but MrBecca was seeing this when he raised the seat and brought it to my attention so I'd clean up after myself when visiting other people's homes. )

What I like most about the Keeper is that my vagina feels normal while I'm using it, instead of dried-out and itchy like with tampons. It takes up too much space to allow for intercourse, but touching feels just the same, all the lubricating works properly, there's no string in the way, and MrBecca has even figured out how to reach around the Keeper and hit the G-spot without breaking the suction! (Is that TMI yet??)

I love being able to go to the restroom at work or in social sitations without having to take my purse! I also love not having to restock my purse with tampons every night during my period, and not having to pack a giant box when I go on a trip.

I'm not sure exactly why, but many women (including me) have slightly shorter periods and less cramping with the Keeper than with tampons. IT'S WONDERFUL!!! Try it!
post #8 of 10
Originally posted by greenmama
Also don't forget to use that captured flow to fertilize your plants. They love it.
Really??? That is a new one on me. Do you mean houseplants or garden plants? I'm always looking for creative ways to nourish my garden, but I wonder if this might attract undesirable critters or flies (or frighten the neighbors--hee hee).

Edited because I must have been brain dead yesterday. I *promise* I know the diff between "new" and "knew."
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Envrio Becca for that info ~ very helpful I think I will actually will look into gettin one for next months cycle. I really appreciate all the insight ~ I never knew such a thing existed!!!

Oh by the way ~ Bravo Mr Becca ~ must be a very skilled man

post #10 of 10
Oh, another thing: If you are swimming in a lake or creek, the Keeper prevents yuckies in the water from getting all the way up to your cervix, whereas a tampon soaks up the yuckies and holds them in there to maximize their chances of getting a grip! In a chlorinated pool, a tampon soaks up the chlorine, and while I don't think there's any dioxin involved, chlorine is pretty harsh and can't be good for your organs.

Even if there's nothing harmful in the water, swimming or bathing with a Keeper instead of a tampon eliminates that creepy sensation of warm water dripping out of the tampon as it's displaced by your flow. (I always hated that but didn't want to throw away the tampon until it was really used up.)
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