The Impact Tampons have on Women’s Health and the Environment
Most tampons are made of oil-based plastics, which once inserted are now sitting against the most absorbent and sensitive tissues.
Mucous membranes in the vagina and vulva rapidly absorb chemicals without metabolising them.
- Surfactants - to help reduce surface tension
- Adhesives – to attach the string to the centre of the tampon for easy removal
- Rayon – man made cotton wood pulp blend which is highly absorbent to take up the menstrual fluids
- Additives - these can be used for bleaching the cotton to make it perfectly white. Chlorine is usually used which breaks down leaving traces of Dioxin
- Dioxin which can be cancerous in the body, and can cause endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a painful condition, causing painful periods, excessive bleeding and infertility for some.
There is a strong link between tampons and pads containing ingredients such as artificial chemicals/colours:
- polypethelene (PET)
- polypropylene and
- propylene glcol (PEG)
These are used also to help prevent shedding of the tampon fibres.
This has been shown to cause:
- Mentrual disruption
Tampons can also cause irritation due to synthetic fibres – sticking in the vaginal wall, causing infections and or other health issues. Many pads contain hormonal chemicals which can affect the body.
Cotton, commonly used in feminine hygiene products, is:
- The most sprayed crop for pesticides
- Breaks down into synthetic oestrogen’s, suppressing progesterone. Leading to fertility issues over prolonged exposure.
Infections from Tampons
Toxic Shock Syndrome - symptoms:
- Flue like symptoms
- High fever, chills
- Worst case - vomiting, diarrhoea. skin rashes.
From an environmental perspective you might like to consider:
Most tampons and pads are made up of 90% plastic.
In the UK we create 200,000 tons a year.
300 + tampons a year equates to 5 kilos of waste a year.
11,000 - 16,000 tampons in a life time, or 250 kgs of pads in a life time.
Made of oil-based plastics, so they never biodegrade. Your plastic tampon of today will still be here in 1000 years. It will not biodegrade.
This doesn’t include panty liners or other feminine hygiene products.
So, perhaps it is time to take a closer look at the makes of the products you are using and switch to products which are made with more organic materials which are bio degradable and much safer for your body and long term health.
Useful links if you would like to read more...