Asbestos in Tampons

Last Updated: 0304/2001 19:26

This is an urban legend, there is no proof at all that any Tampons are dangerous as stated in the message below.
The statements made in the e-mail below are based on half-truths mixed up with pure fiction.

See the following for a  more official de-bunking: FDA Tampons, Dioxin, Asbestos and Toxic Shock Syndrome page

Subject: FYI - for your health

Too important not to pass along.

Very Important Notice:
Do check the labels of the sanitary pads or tampons that you are
going to buy the next time, 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..scary!!

Please pass this on to as many women as possible!
If you use pads, 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, etc.)

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. Why isn't this against the
law since asbestos is so dangerous? Because the powers that be,
in all their wisdom (not), did not consider tampons as being
ingested, and therefore wasn't illegal or considered dangerous.

This month's Essence magazine has a small article about this and
they mention two manufacturers of a cotton tampon alternative.
The 2 companies are: Organic Essentials @ (800) 765-6491 and
Terra Femme @(800) 755-0212.

A woman getting her Ph.D. at University of Colorado, 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 and I have been learning a lot about biology
and women, including much about feminine hygiene. Recently we
have learned that tampons are actually dangerous for other
reasons than TSS (toxic shock syndrome).

I'll tell you this, after learning about this in 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 the bleaching process can lead to very harmful
problems for a woman. Dioxin is POTENTIALLY CARCINOGENIC
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 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
(Karen Houppert "Pulling the Plug on the Tampon Industry").
I'd say using about 4 - tampons a day, five days a month,
for 38 menstruating years is "repeated contact", wouldn't
you? Rayon contributes to the danger of tampons, as does
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 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 what are UNBLEACHED.

Unfortunately, there are very, 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,
while the U.S. has decided to keep us in the dark about it. 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. Call the 800 numbers listed on
the boxes. Let them know that we demand a safe product

P.S. In order not to lose the impact of this email, I suggest
that anyone who wants to forward to your friends, PLEASE copy
this email and paste to a NEW message. That will eliminate any
distorttion of the message with all the forward arrows.
Please do this with consideration and seriousness.~

Kashifa Harris, RN,BSN
OSI Systems,Inc.
(404)261-4408 ext.342

Please ignore any messages regarding this "urban legend" and do not pass on any messages regarding it. Passing on messages about this serves only to further propagate it.


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