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WHAT’S REALLY IN YOUR TAMPON?

what's really in your tampon!

THERE’S A REASON WE DON’T EAT PLASTIC OR DRINK BLEACH: BECAUSE THEY DON’T BELONG INSIDE US…

The choice to stock our fridges with organic food and lather our bodies and faces with organic skincare may have become second nature – but how often do we take the time to read the list of ‘ingredients’ on a box of tampons and pads?

by bM contributor Aimee Marks from TOM Organic


Almost every feminine hygiene brand sold in Australia {and the world for that matter} is made from a combination of the following ingredients: rayon/viscose, polypropylene, polyester and conventional cotton – and to that list you can add perfume and bleach and if the string of your tampon is coloured then you can also add dye. The list isn’t long, but it is scary, because what that list translates to is: wood pulp, bleach, plastic and pesticides.

Rayon is used to make clothes, curtains and that wadding inside of zippo lighters. Rayon usually makes up the ‘body’ of the tampon and the ‘core’ of the pad, it is a highly absorbant fibre made from wood pulp – the processing required to turn woodchips into a fibre is up to sixteen step long and uses some pretty nasty chemicals – this is also where the bleach comes in.

Polypropelyne is used to make packaging, carpet and Australian banknotes. Polyester is used to make clothing, tents, sleeping bags and sails for boats. Polypropelyne and polyester are plastics and are often used to wrap the rayon body of the tampon to give it that ‘silky’ feel. It goes without saying that the world doesn’t need more plastic – and we certainly don’t need it inside of us.

Conventional Cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop in the world. Seven of the most common pesticides used on cotton are “known, probable or likely” to be human carcinogens according to the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA.

Convential cotton may be used in the body of the tampon or only in the string and it’s often used on the outer layer of pads and liners {the part that comes in contact with your skin}. We may think we’re making the right choice by choosing the ‘natural’ option, but conventional cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world – which means that pesticides end up in our waterways, the air we breathe and ultimatily in the cotton products we buy.

Unless the cotton is certified organic there is no guarantee that it is chemical free. Everyday we make choices about what we put in and on our bodies and over her lifetime it is estimated that a woman will use up to 12,000 tampons and pads {yes, that many!} – that’s 12,000 opportunities to make a choice that’s better for your body and better for the planet. TOM Organic tampons and pads are made from 100% certified organic cotton.


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{Top pic: Pinterest}


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  • Understanding what feminine hygiene products are made of and making a decision based on that, is one of the most effective ways to promote healthy bodies, engage in sustainability practices and plant a seed for young women to think about their fertility as something that they can influence over their life course. A seemingly small decision about what tampon brand to use has a cumulative effect on reproductive health at all stages of life. TOM is so much more than a brand, it’s an ethos.