When we decide to start living a healthier lifestyle, we become more aware of the things we eat, the cleaners we use in our home, and making sure our toiletries (shampoo, body wash, face wash, lotion, deodorants, etc) are chemical free. But what about the things we put IN our bodies?! And I’m not just talking about vitamins and supplements. 😉
It has been estimated that we can use as much as 9,000 tampons in our lifetimes. I thought this was an exaggeration 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. And don’t forget about the pads too! I’m going to get REAL real right now, the inside of your vagina is made of up of delicate tissue. If you use tampons that are loaded with harmful chemicals, that tissue is absorbing them right into your bloodstream. That is a bit unsettling, isn’t it?!
Here are some shocking facts about tampons for you:
- Most tampons and pads are bleached with chlorine which leads to a toxic byproduct called dioxin, which is linked to cancer as it’s a known carcinogen and endometriosis.
- You often see “Elemental chlorine-free bleaching” on a label (also referred to as chlorine-free). This bleaching process is NOT free of chlorine at all but means that it is not a chlorine gas bleaching process! This does not exclude the use of other types of chlorine in the bleaching process. It is easy to be confused when manufacturers play with language in order to confuse you.
- Recycled cotton any better? Nope. Again… tricky marketing at play. Recycled still cannot be chlorine or pesticide free because there’s no way to ensure that the cotton products recycled were clean.
- Pesticide-residue getting into your lady parts? 26% of the world’s pesticide is sprayed on cotton. These pesticides have been shown to affect the health of wildlife and humans in a devastating way from infertility, hormonal imbalance, even cancer.
- If the cord of your tampon has been dyed, then it’s a possible source of toxic heavy metals, thanks to azo dyes.
(source: Joyous Health)
Pesticides are sprayed all over cotton, meaning those little bug-killers are getting dangerously close to your body. You’re also exposed to tons of GMOs, polyester, adhesives, polypropylene, polyethylene, etc. This is really scary because all that stuff is related to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption, and infertility. Plus, the plastic applicators for your tampons can create a micro-tear in the vaginal wall and make you susceptible to Toxic Shock Syndrome (you know, one of those things middle school health class scared us half to death about).
The good news is that there are many ORGANIC options available in store and online. Just make sure the package states that the products are actually 100% organic cotton, chlorine free, and free of chemicals. Yes you have to read the labels on everything, even your feminine products! A great brand is Natracare, but I love Honest Company pads and tampons. I add them to my monthly subscription bundle!
And if you’re feeling REALLY brave, look into trying a menstrual cup. My favorite is the Diva Cup!