Organic tampons just make sense for something that comes into contact with delicate tissues of your body on a regular basis.
It has been estimated that we can use as much as 9,000 tampons in our lifetimes. I thought this was an exageration but do the math. As an example, 4 tampons for 6 days, 12 months a year for 30 years is 8,640. That’s a lot of tampons.
So What’s The Problem With Tampons?
Most tampons are made from a cotton or rayon-cotton blend. Rayon is a synthetic fiber that is made from wood pulp. It is highly absorbent.
Cotton while a so called natural fiber may have been bio-enginered and grown with a mess of pesicides, fertilizers and fungicides. (See organic cotton.) Both of these fibers undergo a bleaching process before being made into tampons and even though this process has been improved to try and eliminate dioxins, trace levels are still being found.
Dioxins are an environmental pollutant and known carcinogenic by product of bleaching and manufacturing processes. It is now being found in our soil, air and water. According to the FDA, this may explain how rayon and cotton may always contain some dioxin. Some groups think even the improved bleaching techniques may contribute to some of the dioxins.
The FDA says that levels of dioxin are so low, it is not a cause for concern. But some doctor’s and other groups are not so sure and are concerned about the cumulative effect of even tiny amounts of dioxins coming in to contact month after month with a very delicate part of our body. No one knows for sure.
According to the National Research Center for Women and Families, dioxin was found in several brands of tampons and at least one 100% cotton brand. Companies are required to test and report dioxin levels to the FDA.
Sometimes I feel like we’re in a bit of a chemical soup. Fortunately, if we make better choices we can eliminate some of the harmful chemicals that have become so much a part of our everyday lives.
We can purchase organic tampons or pads that are 100% certified organic cotton, do not contain any synthetic materials such as rayon or chemical additives like fragrances and with either no bleaching or non-chlorine bleaching.
Hydrogen peroxide used as a bleach has not been found to create dioxins. The elimination of chlorine bleaching to treat fibers and all the chemicals needed to grow conventional cotton helps improve things for both us and the environment.
What About Mooncup?
I have had several women write to me about a product called Mooncup (pictured right). It is an alternative to using organic tampons and pads that is eco friendly and safe. I have not used this product myself but many women seem happy with it once they get used to using it.
A woman who frequents Natural Living for Women told me about her experiences using Mooncup and kindly offered to write a very interesting review which should help you decide if this product is something you think will work for you. Check out Jessica’s review of Mooncup.
Choosing Organic Tampons.
I have used tampon products for years and did not make the switch to organic tampons until a few years ago. I had to experiment with a few brands until I found one I could be happy with. I believe the absence of rayon makes these products a little less absorbent.
The most effective brand I have found is made by Natracare which can be found at local stores like Whole Foods or other health food stores. Amazon carries of good selection of all Natracare products which includes tampons, pads, panti liners and wipes.
My purchase of organic tampons is part of my plan for removing as many unnessary chemicals as I can from my life for myself, family and the environment. Let’s see 8,640 organic tampons per woman, that’s a good start.