FACTS: WHAT WOMEN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TAMPONS
DIOXIN and CHLORINE
- Dioxin, a chlorine by-product, is in waste water from pulp mills that manufacture rayon for tampons. Rayon made in North America is almost always made with chlorine chemicals.
- In 1987, a scientist from the F.D.A. reported that the greatest risk of dioxin exposure was from menstrual pads and tampons.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) has reported that dioxin residues have been found on tampons made with chlorine-treated rayon fibers.
- Independent international scientists have now proven that dioxin causes cancer in humans, along with birth defects, and that it disrupts hormone levels in our bodies.
- Dioxin poisoning has been proven to cause endometriosis.
- As of August 1996, F.D.A. had no plans to independently study health risks from dioxin in tampons.
- Rayon fibers are "friable" (easily crumbled), and tend to disintegrate when placed in liquids (like menstrual blood?).
- Rayon fibers aren't as absorbent as natural fibers like cotton (women know this from doing laundry!), For many tampons, rayon is treated with chemicals to make it "super absorbent.
- "Super absorbent" tampons made with treated rayon can absorb "too much," and dry out the vaginal tissue, causing soreness and irritation.
- Independent research proves that rayon tampons boost the production of toxins that cause Toxic Shock Syndrome.
TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME (TSS)
- Women who use tampons are still getting Toxic Shock Syndrome.
- EARLY Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome: Sudden onset of a fever of 102 degrees or higher; diarrhea; vomiting; dizziness; muscular pain; weakness; headache; suddenly feeling unwell; "flu-like" symptoms; sore throat; bloodshot eyes.
- ADVANCED Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome: fainting; disorientation; skin rash resembling a sunburn, particularly on the palms and the soles of the feet; peeling skin; a rapid fall of blood pressure.
* If you think that you have ANY of the symptoms of TSS while wearing a tampon, immediately remove the tampon and consult a doctor. Tell the doctor your symptoms, how long you have had them, and when your period started. Take the tampon with you, in case your doctor wants to test it.
- The number of reported cases of TSS is less now than the time before the worst offender, "Rely" tampons, was removed from the market. This is because more less synthetic ingredients are used to make tampons; women are using less tampons; more women use pads overnight; and women are more careful to wash their hands before and after using tampons.
- Scientists have never been able to say exactly what causes tampon-related TSS; however, most studies say that the ingredients in tampons has something to do with Toxic Shock Syndrome.
- You could have a mild case of Toxic Shock Syndrome and never know!
- No "clinical studies of TSS from family doctors or emergency room medical staff, have been prepared for the public. Governments still rely on "epidemiological" research by scientists. Almost all of this research is funded by tampon companies.
- Government health standards come from "epidemiological" tampon research.
- If your body doesnąt have "antibodies" to the TSS toxin (a big risk for many young women, and for women who have had "mild" cases of TSS), you have a greater chance of getting Toxic Shock. Most doctors do not test women patients for antibodies to TSS.
- ALL MAJOR TAMPON COMPANIES HAVE LOST TOXIC SHOCK LAWSUITS
- NO CASES OF TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME INVOLVE ALL-COTTON TAMPONS!
"HIDDEN" RISKS (More research - please!)
- Tampon applicators are unnecessary, and an environmental hazard. As far away as Antarctica, birds have been choked and killed by swallowing plastic applicators. Paper applicators are usually made with chlorine, creating more poisonous chemicals, including dioxin.
- Paper and plastic tampon applicators can CUT, PINCH and SCRAPE the delicate vaginal tissue; some applicators are even known to cause arterial laceration!
- Fibers from cardboard tampon applicators can become imbedded in tiny cuts in vaginal tissue.
- Rayon fibers from tampons can also implant themselves in cuts in vaginal tissue.
- Women need MORE information about the safe use of tampons. An example: never use tampons when water-skiing; they can be forced deep inside your body and need to be surgically removed!
- The safety of some "other" ingredients in tampons have not been proven.
- Many women have reported allergic reactions to commercial tampons, and find that the reaction "disappears when they use non-chlorine, pure cotton tampons.
- Tampon use is also known to promote yeast infections; some women get them every month after their period!
- Tampons are believed to cause cervical dysplasia (aka "pre-cancerous" cells), cervical, ovarian and bladder cancers, to erode cervical tissue, and to aggravate "genital warts.
- Using chlorine to make rayon for tampons is irresponsible and unnecessary. European companies in countries like Sweden, after being forced by law, have been making non-chlorine rayon for years.
- Companies that sell cotton tampons are still making rayon tampons, and knowingly risking women's lives. Don't buy from them!
- You may have seen tampon advertising that encourages OVERNIGHT USE of tampons ("up to 8 hours"). Many younger women donąt know about the 1980s tampon scare and may sleep with tampons in even longer. What's worse, is that if you're asleep, you may not notice the symptoms of Toxic Shock and have a chance to take the tampon out before the disease gets worse!
Written by:Willi Nolan, President, Bio Business International
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