It seems like recently there has been a controversy on feminine hygiene products. I do not know if it is some sort of feminist movement, or just another organic fad, but women are complaining now more than ever about the materials of feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons.
To start, organic tampons are made from organic cotton and are fragrance-free. Many people are not aware that organic cotton tampons are made with pesticides. Yeah, they may be made with unbleached cotton, but so are the conventional ones! Chemophobia is sweeping through the feminine hygiene aisle as new fears are being marketed to women by the multi-billion dollar organic industry.
Chemophobia is an irrational fear of chemicals that the organic industry is milking.
Marketing claims that organic tampons are safer and healthier than non-organic products. But to my surprise, tampons are actually a class II medical device, which means they are highly regulated by the FDA. They regulate everything from the selection of the size, and absorbency, to tampon insertion methods, to the time that they are effective for, and disposal of them. Clinical testing must provide proof that meets rigorous criteria for irritation, allergy, abrasions, ulcerations, lacerations, and residual fiber retention.
Tampons are usually made from cotton and rayon. Up until the late 1990’s, bleaching the wood pulp resulted in traces of dioxin in tampons, which have been known to cause cancer in animals. Since then, the method has been replaced with a chlorine-free bleaching process for all tampons. So conventional ones are no different from organic ones!
Superabsorbent tampons were associated with toxic shock syndrome, which is a blood infection. Since the 1980’s, tampons have been revamped by the CDC and the FDA, and therefore, banned the superabsorbent materials in all tampons.
A surprising fact that I came across was that organic use pesticides, which sometimes are even more toxic used than those for conventional crops. Cotton is not a fruit or a vegetable. It is a seed crop. It is subjected to the same government oversight as food crops even though it is used for textile purposes. Organic tampons are also made with GOTS Certified Organic cotton, which is actually worse for the environment. Like many non-GMO crops, non-GMO cotton suffers from a resource problem. It uses too much and yields a much smaller amount of cotton. You need double the amount of land to produce the same amount of regular cotton!
Overall, there is absolutely no difference between these new, organic tampons, and the good old ones we have been using for years. In fact, you really are just paying double the price for the same product, just with a “greener” packaging. Don’t let the media fool you!