That "Not-So-Fresh" Feeling
Date Added: June 23, 2001
An alarming - but old - claim that the heartless corporate machine is out to sell product without regard to customers' health continues to circulate in spite of the accumulating evidence against it.
Freighting... I'm destine to be a Lobbyist in my next career!!
I am sure many of you have seen this already, but it is still very important and something perhaps to re-read and remember. And share with those who may not be aware.
Please PASS IT ON!!!
This is long but worth reading, please pass it on.
If you are a woman and use pads, but especially if you use tampons, read this and pass it on to your friends.
For the men receiving this email, please forward it to your friends, significant others, sisters, mothers, daughters, etc.) Thanks!
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. 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, didn't consider them illegal or dangerous.
This month's Essence magazine has small article about this and they mention two manufacturers of cotton tampon alternative. The companies are: Organic Essentials @1-800 765-6491 and Terra Femme @(800)755-0212.
A woman getting her Ph.D. at University of Colorado at 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 othe! r reasons than TSS). I'll tell you this - after learning about this in our 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 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, which is produced in this bleaching process, can lead to very harmful problems for a woman. Dioxin is potentially carcinogenic (cancer-associated) and is toxic to the immune and reproductive systems. It has also been linked to endometriosis! and lower sperm counts for men. For both sexes, 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 Couppert "Pulling the Plug on the Tampon Industry"). I'd say using about 4-5 tampons a day, five days a month, for 38 menstruating years is "repeated contact", wouldn't you? Rayon contributes to the danger of tampons and 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 breeding ground for the dioxin. It also stays in lot longer than it would with just cotton tampons. This is also the reason why TSS (toxic shock syndrome) 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 that are UNBLEACHED. Unfortunately, there are 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 campaign against chlorine bleaching. Six weeks and 50,000 letters later, the makers of sanitary products switched to oxygen bleaching (one of the 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
ALL COTTON UNBLEACHED TAMPONS.
In order not to lose the impact of this e-mail, I suggest that anyone who wants to forward it to your friends, PLEASE copy this mail and paste it to NEW message. That way it will not distort the whole message with all the forward arrows.
The bulk of this chain letter can be traced back to 1998. The first few paragraphs have been added in the years since and have absolutely no basis in reality. There is not now, nor has there ever been, asbestos in tampons. Companies are not putting a known carcinogen into feminine hygiene products just to increase the need for them.
The other claims in this letter are iffy at best. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration assures us that "the available scientific evidence does not support these rumors." The makers of Tampax also refute most of the claims in the letter. The author remains anonymous, though several individuals have been mistakenly attributed with it over the years.
That said, it's important to point out that all tampons pose some level of risk of toxic shock syndrome to their users. However, relying on anonymously authored and haphazardly forwarded e-mail chain letters for health information is a bad idea at best. Consult the links referenced below for the real scoop. Break this chain.
References: TruthOrFiction.com, Snopes.com, About.com, Tampax, US FDA