If you are a health nut, chances are you purchases all of natural product and beauty products as is, but do you buy organic feminine products as well? Is it necessary?
The true concern when it comes to tampon usage is Toxic Shock Syndrome, a serious but rare disease women get from improper use and poor manufacturing of tampons. Dating back to the 1980′s TSS has been a concern, as in early years tampons were made from high absorbent synthetic materials such as some rayons, polyester, and cotton. The use of some of these materials have since been outlawed. Most tampon packaging will also advise one to only use the absorbency necessary for their their cycle. Meaning if you are on the back end of your period and are only spotting, don’t use the high absorbency tampon because you only want to have to change 1 time a day. This is not only unsanitary and foul, it presents serious health risks! According to the Mayo Clinic, there are two ways super-absorbent tampons cause TSS: When they are left in place for a long time, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Additionally, the absorbent fibers can scratch the surface of the vagina, making it possible for bacteria or their toxins to enter the bloodstream.
So it leaves you to wonder, would an organic tampon be a decent solution? You might think so, but it really just depends. Unfortunately the FDA doesn’t regulate the “organic-ness” of a tampon because it is considered a medical device, they also don’t require companies to list everything a tampon is made of. In general an organic tampon is made from natural cotton fibers, that probably was left unbleached or was bleached without toxic chemicals. Unlike standard tampons that are typically made with cotton and rayon blends, which tend have the dangerous chemical dioxin. According the Environmental Protection Agency, they have been “working to promote dioxin-free methods of producing wood pulp.” The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that they believe dioxin within feminine products can be linked to:
- Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
- Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
- Immune system suppression
- Hormonal and endocrine system disruption
The lesson in all of this is to do your research. Organic tampons are a great option, if they are in fact “organic”. A lot of the concern with tampons is more revolved around usage versus how it is made, but there are some clear concerns with the longterm use of tampons made with particular toxic chemicals. With no true regulation over the make-up of these products, it is up to the consumer to find a healthy product for themselves. It is important to know the risks involved, and continue to educate ourselves on how to avoid them.
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