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Tampons: The Truth - The Rumor Mill & Claims

  • A Phone call to Johnson & Johnson
  • For Women who Decide to Keep Using Tampons with Rayon & Dioxin.
  • Two Examples of Super Absorbent Tampon Products
  • For Women Who Want Safer Choices
  • Some Dr.'s Say...
  • The FDA
  • Urban Legends - A Reference site which claims to provide the "real" scoop on a variety of subjects, rumors, hoaxes, etc.
  • Web-Sites for Even More Information

There has been talk and concern about tampon safety. One of the largest circulating currently is whether tampons contain asbestos, rayon and dioxin. The rumor/claim goes on to state that these ingredients are why many women get cervical cancer, womb tumors and bleed excessively. So, it would be wise not to use them at all or if you must use them switch to 100% cotton and unbleached tampons and pads (although because they aren't in direct contact with the vagina, they're not as dangerous.

The rumor/claim goes on to tell about each dangerous chemical in tampons.

"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. It also breaks down the immune system."

"Rayon contributes to the danger of tampons and dioxin because it is a highly absorbent substance. Therefore, then fibers from the tampons are left behind in the vagina (as it usually occurs), it creates a breeding ground for the dioxin. It also stays in a lot longer than it would with just cotton tampons. This is also the reason why TSS (toxic shock syndrome) occurs."

"Sweden, Germany, British Columbia, etc. have demanded a safer tampon. Activists in England mounted a campaign against chlorine bleaching. Six weeks and 50,000 letters later, the makers switched to oxygen bleaching (one of green methods). The U.S. has decided to keep us in the dark about it."

A phone call to Johnson & Johnson was made and they claim that their products are safe (what else are they going to say?). The woman from Johnson & Johnson was very understanding and nice. She said that they have been receiving many phone calls about this. She said they get spot inspections and that they keep their products as safe as they can.

A look on the box or packaging, which tampons come in, should provide and usually does, a phone number to use for more information. Also, on the box or packaging are the ingredients used to make the product.

A better choice is not to use big absorbency tampons. Avoid products that use terms such as 'Super Absorbency' or 'Plus Absorbency.' Try to use 'Regular Absorbency.'

Johnson and Johnson's 'O.B.' Super Absorbency tampons contain rayon and cotton fibers; polyethylene/polyester cover, and rayon or cotton string. Their phone number: 1-800-526-3967

Kimberly Clark Corporation's 'Kotex Security Super Plus Absorbency' with plastic applicator tampons, contain cotton and rayon; polypropylene cover; rayon, polyester or cotton string. Their phone number: 1-800-544-1847 Weekdays 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. Web-site:

Find and use all cotton, unbleached tampons. Here are two good sources:
1. 'Organic Essentials' at
They are a farmer owned company who grows and uses 100% certified organic cotton and manufacture it into 100% certified organic cotton tampons. They also offer cotton balls, swabs and cosmetic rounds, as well as the digital and applicator tampons, ad cotton menstrual pads. They do not use bleach, pesticides, fungicides or other chemicals.

2. 'NaturaCare'

There used to be another natural tampon product available; 'Terra-Femme.' They have went out of business though. Tampex Naturals is another, yet it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find at drug stores and department stores. If enough women start asking stores and other places where they shop, to begin to carry these natural products, they may.

"Mountain Rose" at
Phone: 1-800-879-3337
They carry products such as: 100% certified cotton tampons. They use no pesticides, fungicides, chlorine or other chemical. They also carry certified organic AND colored cotton menstrual pads from "Natural Choice."

"Green Market Place" at
They provide tampons, pads and liners which are natural, "made without using chlorine or other harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process."

"Health Well" at
Look for a list of references and articles on tampons here.

Some Dr.'s have said that tampons cannot be totally trusted. They say that tampons are not fully sterilized. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea for women to talk to their own Dr. and see what they have to say about this topic. Maybe they have important news too.

The FDA has a wealth of articles pertaining to tampons and other women's hygiene products. Although, keep in mind that there are some rumors circulating that the FDA isn't always a trustworthy source (remember their involvement concerning Genetically Engineered Foods).

- A reference site which claims to provide the "real" scoop on a variety of subjects, rumors, hoaxes, & etc.
Urban Legends provides information about this rumor/claim dealing with tampons.
Their web-site:
To go straight to their write-up on the tampon safety rumor/claim:

Tampon Safety & Research Act of 1999 (Introduced in the HOUSE)

'Ignorance of Toxic-Shock Syndrome has Experts Worried About a Resurgence of the Disease' - Seattletimes Article

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