The truth about tampons

Last year, Lynn wrote this article about having a green period. To complement it, I share this eye-opening article from Seventh Generation about the dangers of using tampons, cleverly titled Tampontification.

“Tampons are typically made from a variety of materials including conventional cotton, rayon, or a blend of both fibers. Conventional cotton is one of the “dirtiest” crops in the modern world. According to the USDA, in 2003 U.S. cotton farmers applied an eye-popping 55 million pounds of pesticides to their fields. And global cotton production also uses high levels of pesticides.

Many of these agricultural toxins are classified as “extremely or highly hazardous” by the World Health Organization. In addition to polluting groundwater and soil, seven of the 15 most commonly-used cotton pesticides have been identified as possible human carcinogens by the EPA. (Others are known to damage the nervous system and are suspected of disrupting the body’s hormonal system.)

When we buy tampons made with conventional cotton, we are contributing to these kinds of environmental pollution.

Rayon also needs further scrutiny. The wood pulp that forms a base material for most rayon is typically treated with chlorine-based bleach. This manufacturing process results in the creation of chlorinated toxins, which can accumulate in the environment over time.

Conventional tampons can also contain any number of other ingredients that women might not want to be intimate with. These include absorbency enhancers, synthetic deodorants, and artificial fragrances.

Add it all up and the term “feminine protection” becomes a bit of a misnomer. An alternative is to use 100% organic cotton tampons. These products are made from pure natural cotton that hasn’t been grown in a soup of pesticides. They don’t contain rayon or synthetic additives, and most have been manufactured using a chlorine-free process that doesn’t create chlorinated toxins.”

Share this story with the women in your life for healthier periods.

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