Toxic Tampons - Are You Using Them and What Can You do to Change It?

We know to read the labels on food, and to stay away from preservatives and chemicals that aren’t healthy for us. We also know about things like toxic shock syndrome, thanks to the warnings we get from our OBGYN’s and GYN’s. But do we know what chemicals are being used in the feminine products we are inserting inside our bodies? Yeah, those tampons you’ve come to rely on over the years aren’t just made of harmless cotton. They might also have dangerous chemicals embedded in them, which means even if you’ve been very careful about what you eat or what you put on your skin, you might still be exposing your system to harmful substances every month. If you’re surprised by this possibility, check out what a new study has found about toxic tampons – including how some of the most popular brands may be hurting you. If you’re raising teen girls, you should be especially interested in the results of the study so you can help your daughters choose the least harmful tampons on the market.

If you’re worried about your health, take a look at this list: 6 Things You Need To Stop Doing Right Now To Be Healthier

What Chemicals Do Toxic Tampons Contain, and How Do They Affect Your Body?

You might be surprised at how many dangerous substances your tampons have in them. And you’re not alone. Many women never even consider that their feminine products could be toxic. That’s why food activist Leah Segedie over at Mamavation wrote about the Chem Fatale Report, which shows which chemicals the most toxic tampons feature and how to avoid them. For example, tampons from some of the biggest brands feature furans, pesticide residue, and dioxins, which are harmful substances that have been shown to result in reproductive problems, hormone issues, and even cancer. Surely you wouldn’t knowingly eat foods with these chemicals in it—or recommend them to your family—so why would you put items like this inside you for a few days every single month?

Granted, maybe you don’t normally worry about everything you touch having some harmful chemicals on it, since those chemicals would have a hard time entering your body and affecting your system. But you actually should worry about toxic tampons, because it turns out the chemicals on them are able to get into your system! They don’t just hang out on your skin or disappear when you remove the tampon. Instead, the walls of the vagina absorb the chemicals they come in contact with, since they can permeate the area and go straight to your bloodstream. And then once they’re in your body, they’re there to stay, because your system doesn’t have the right enzymes to break them up. So as you continue to use toxic tampons, those toxins just keep building up in your body!

Think about how many tampons you’ve used over the years and what chemicals you’ve allowed in your body by now. But it’s not too late to turn it around. You can prevent any further damage by finding out which tampons to avoid and which to start using. And perhaps most importantly, you can prevent your daughters from developing the unfortunately common habit of using toxic tampons. Just check out the lists below of which brands to use and which to avoid.

For more period talk you might be able to relate to, check out: #Realtalk: Farewell, My Period

Which Brands Are the Worst Offenders?

All tampons are not created equal. In fact, some are downright bad for your body, as you may have gathered. You’ll find that nearly every extremely popular brand of feminine products uses unfortunate chemicals, such as chlorine and parabens. Plus, any brand that doesn’t use organic cotton uses cotton that has been doused with herbicides and pesticides, which you don’t want in your body. The following brands are the worst one to use if you’re trying to avoid chemicals in your feminine products, according to Mamavation’s breakdown of toxic tampons:

  • Always
  • Cardinal Health
  • Carefree
  • CVS Health
  • Kotex
  • Kroger
  • O.B.
  • Playtex
  • Signature Care
  • Stayfree
  • Tampax
  • U by Kotex
  • Walgreens

Which Brands Should You Use?

Do any of the brands above look familiar? If you’re like most women, you’ve used a few of these, and maybe you’ve even steered your teen girls toward these tampons at some point. But now you know better and can start using non-toxic tampons. For example, the following are better because they don’t feature chlorine, fragrances, or other harmful substances—even though they still contain non-organic cotton:

  • Charlie Banana
  • Glad Rags
  • Maxim
  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear
  • Tampax Pure and Clean
  • Veeda

If you want to go a step further and use feminine products that not only don’t contain chemicals, but also use organic cotton, these are your options:

  • AIWO Cup
  • Anigan EvaCup
  • Anytime Cup
  • Athena Cup
  • Blossom Cup
  • Cora Organic
  • Diva Cup
  • Eco by Naty
  • Emerita Organic
  • Femallay Cup
  • Femmy Cycle
  • Fleurcup
  • Glad Rags (organic cotton)
  • Goddess Cup
  • Hesta
  • Intimina Lily Cup
  • Jolie Organic
  • IrisCup
  • L.
  • Lena Cup
  • Lola
  • Lunette Cup
  • Maxim (organic)
  • MenstroCup
  • Moon Cup
  • Natracare
  • NatraTouch
  • Oi
  • Orchidea
  • Organyc
  • Pink Daisy
  • Pixie Cup
  • Rael
  • RoseCup
  • Seventh Generation Organic
  • Sckoon Cup
  • The Honest Co.

Clearly, you have a lot of choices if you’re looking for an alternative to toxic tampons! If you’re interested in any of these non-toxic options, read Leah Segedie’s article on this report: How Toxic Are Your Tampons? Product Investigation Reveals Shocking Details. She features links to all of these products, along with an explanation on what else you can do to get healthier as a woman. In fact, the entire Mamavation site is a great resource for women who are trying to improve their lifestyle by removing the harmful chemicals from their daily life. And if you’re really interested in getting a head start on your lifestyle change, you’ll want to read Leah’s new book, called Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier (All Without Driving Your Family Crazy!). You can buy it on Amazon, and then explore Mamavation as you wait for the book to arrive!

Want more tips on improving your life? Take these ideas into consideration: 40 Ways to Empowerment and Well-Being

Other sources on toxic tampons:
How Toxic Are Your Tampons? Product Investigation Reveals Shocking Details
Women Beware: Most Feminine Hygiene Products Contain Toxic Ingredients
Chem Fatale Report

The original version of this article was first published on FitFormula.