Along with many other female products, women are beginning to question what’s actually in their tampons and what harm it could do them. As a result, there’s been an increase interest in ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ tampons. Contributor Emily Cardel (pictured) explains further.
Dr. Maggie Ney, the co-director of the Women’s Clinic at the Akasha Center in Santa Monica, says we should. Because the vaginal walls are so permeable, anything in a tampon can make it to the bloodstream. The good news is, as awareness continues to rise about the truth of America’s three billion dollar toxin-filled tampon industry, we are also starting to see a rise in organic tampon companies that are worthy of our attention and investment.
According to Dr. Ney,
“Generally tampons are made from cotton, rayon, and synthetic fibers. But since tampons are considered a ‘medical device’ by the Food and Drug Administration, manufacturers are not required to issue a full disclosure of what is in their tampons. Conventional tampons have odor neutralizers, dyes, pesticides, and fragrances, which have an undisclosed mixture of chemicals that have been linked to endocrine disrupters, allergies, rashes, respiratory distress, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility. They also contain GMOs, so if we are concerned about ingesting GMO foods, we should be equally concerned about inserting a GMO tampon—because the vaginal wall is so permeable, this allows toxins like pesticides and GMO proteins direct access to our bloodstream.”
Here are five toxic ingredients in your tampons to be aware of:
Rayon & Dioxin
Rayon is a cellulose fiber that comes from wood pulp. When it’s bleached, a byproduct called dioxin is released. It is known to be toxic to humans. The FDA states that tampons show dioxin levels at or below the delectable limit, posing no health risk. However, according to the EPA, there is no safe level of exposure to dioxin.
Non-organic cotton is considered one of the dirtiest crops in the world, making up 2% of cultivated land while using 24% of the world’s pesticides. It allows substantially more pesticides and herbicides to be sprayed on the cotton, which increases the risk of its residues being present in the cotton that’s in our tampons.
Two words: chemical soup. Brand do not have to list what chemicals they’re putting under the umbrella term “fragrance,” so it can contain harmful ingredients.
BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical that comes from producing plastic, and it has been linked to cancer. Be on the lookout for BPA-free applicators when shopping for tampons.
Do not let this information scare you. Let it empower you to make better choices concerning the education of your health when it comes to your beautiful, feminine body.
Let’s take a look at some of the tampon companies that care about our health just as much as we do.
Cora sells 100% certified organic tampons that are non-GMO and free of pesticides, chlorine, fragrance, and toxins. The applicator is fully recyclable and BPA-free as well. If you’re looking for another reason to love them, here’s one: for every month’s supply of Cora sold, the company will provide a month’s supply of pads and health education to girls from Kenya, India and the U.S. How awesome is that? Price: $15 for 36
Lola is a monthly subscription box for tampons. They offer a unique, build-your-own-box subscription. Meaning, you can customize your pack to be as filled with light, regular, or super tampons as your cycle needs. They offer 100% organic cotton, biodegradable tampons in BPA-free plastic applicators, or applicator-free tampons. The tampons are free of synthetic fibers, chemical additives, fragrance, dyes, and chlorine bleach.
Price: $10 for a box of 18
As the world’s first fully certified organic cotton tampons, there is no doubt Natracare knows what they are doing. Their tampons are 100% cotton, perfume and chlorine free, and biodegradable. They are widely popular and relatively cheap if you buy in bulk online.
Price: $14 for 36 tampons
Are you an eco-friendly kinda gal? Try Organyc tampons. They make their tampons entirely out of 100% biodegradable and compostable organic cotton bleached without chlorine. Note: These tampons have a cardboard applicator.
Price: $5 for a box of 16
Seventh Generation is most likely available in your local supermarket or pharmacy, making it quite convenient for your monthly tampon run. These tampons use certified organic cotton, and have no fragrances, deodorants, or chlorine processing. The applicator is made with 95% plant-based materials and contains no BPA.
Price: $5 for a box of 16
In the words of Dr. Ney, “Don’t worry about using a conventional tampon every once in a while when nothing else is available. But, when you have the opportunity, buy organic tampons or pads. The best option here would be an organic, chlorine-free, non-applicator tampon or organic, chlorine free pad.”