Tamponns – a danger to our Health
I am writing this because women are not being informed about the dangers of something most of us use – tampons. Some of these brands have asbestos which is very dangerous to our health. The rationale is this: Asbestos makes you bleed more, and if you bleed more, you’re going to need to use more. No wonder so many women in the world suffer from cervical cancer and womb tumors.
Why isn’t this against the law since asbestos is so dangerous- Because tampons are not being ingested, and therefore not considered illegal or dangerous.
Here’s 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 a woman. Dioxin is potentially carcinogenic(cancer-associated) and is toxic to the immune and reproductive 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 here (EPA) reported that there really is no set “acceptable” level of exposure to dioxin given that it is cumulative and slow to disintegrate. The real danger comes from repeated contact 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 it 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, Germany, British Columbia, etc) have demanded a switch to this safer tampon.
– Gillian Robinson is a Jamaican student who is stydying medicine in Europe.