Friday, March 6, 2009

Are you ready to give up tampons?

Admittedly this is a slightly uncomfortable subject, but one that affects us all. Whether you use tampons or pads, we all inevitably end up throwing away a lot of "sanitary" products every month.

According to Grist (posted today on No Impact Man):

Most tampons are made from rayon-cotton blends -- an important distinction, because rayon is often chlorine-bleached, a process that releases the cancer-causing chemical dioxin. This toxin builds up in fatty tissue and has been linked to endometriosis, immune-system suppression, and other health problems. Since it's in a product intended for our, ahem, most intimate of locations, there's definitely another reason to be angry. Some companies offer tampons made of organic cotton, which is progress, but tampons still pose a burden on the waste stream and the risk of toxic shock syndrome...

The good news is that there are great reusable alternatives. They're cheaper in the long run, safer and way better for the environment. As Emily from Food Origins once commented:

Re: pads, tampons, favorite answer is "None of the above." Try the Diva cup or the Keeper. This is a silicone or latex cup - like a big thimble - that you wear internally and empty and rinse periodically. WAY cleaner than any of the usual Western methods and no waste! I know half a dozen women who have tried it, and not a one of them will go back to any other sanitary product.

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