Please pass on to as many women as possible . If you use pads, but especially if youuse 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.) thanks!
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 cottontampon alternative. The 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 arenot 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 aboutbiology and woman, including much about feminine hygiene. Recently we have learned that tamponsare actually dangerous (for other reasons than TSS). I'll tell you this,after learning about this in our class, most of the females wound upfeeling 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 Ican, 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 isconvinced that we, as women, need bleached white products - in order to view the product as pure and clean. The problem here is that the dioxinproduced 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, 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 4-5 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 itusually occurs), it creates a breeding ground for the dioxin. It also staysin a 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 contactwith 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 giveup using tampons? Use tampons, that are made from 100% cotton, and that are UNBLEACHED.Unfortunately, there are very, very few companies that makethese safe tampons. They are usually only found in health foodstores. Countries all over the world (Sweden,German, British Columbia, etc.) have demanded a switch to this safertampon, 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 thegovernment, 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. Thank you.
Donna C. Boisseau & Stephanie C.Baker; Assistants to Dr. B.S.Katzenellenbogen,
Professor University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of
Molecular and Integrative Physiology (217) 333-9769 Bernice
Devereaux Senior Clerk - Finance Telemedicine/TETRA Faculty
of Medicine Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland, Canada
A1B 3V6 www.med.mun.ca/telemed 709-737-6654 (general office)
709-758-8305 (voice mail)