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Tiny Choices Q&A: Organic Tampons?

By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | September 7, 2007

Welcome to Tiny Choices Q&A, where we open the floor for discussion on questions which ya’ll have submitted (read the first list of questions here).

MZ asks:

Can you talk about tampons..after all this time I’m still not using the healthy environmental ones…I need to know more about tampons and why [I shouldn't use] the typical ones ?

The topic of menstruation, and of alternative menstruation products, is a Very Important One which Tiny Choices is planning to talk about in detail soon… but for now we’ll stick to your question and just focus on tampons.

First, some facts about your average, run-of-the-mill (non-organic) tampon:

Personally, and you may feel differently, these are all things that I really don’t want in my sensitive and absorbent nether regions. Here’s a test to try from EMagazine-The Enviornmental Magazine (2004) (Editor’s note: I don’t have any tampons on hand with which to test this, so if any of ya’ll do please leave a comment below with the results): “Some college courses on women’s health conduct a simple class demonstration: Place a new tampon in a glass of water. After it absorbs water, remove it, and watch all the remaining fibers floating in the water. These fibers remain inside a woman’s uterus.”

And here’s the FDA’s official site on Tampons and Asbestos, Dioxin, & Toxic Shock Syndrome, in which they state that regular tampons are totally healthy and fine. Well, I know the government never lies or covers up health-related information…

So, these are some reasons you might consider switching to organic cotton tampons. They’re easy to find in any health-food store, and many conventional drug stores stock them now too. And for you DIYers: crochet your own reusable tampons!

One final quote:

Whatever you choose, there are a few conclusions to keep in mind. One: No menstrual product is thoroughly regulated by the FDA. Two: Over the generations, women have stemmed the tide with everything from papyrus to wool, commercial tampons, and quartered kitchen sponges — and lived to tell the tale. Three: Whether you call them beach whistles, New Jersey seashells, LPTs (little pink things), torpedos, finger puppets, dum-dum bullets, or tube fish, plastic applicators are a waste.

Additional Resources:

How many of you ladies use organic tampons? How many of you men love ladies who use organic tampons?

Click here for the Q&A archives!

Topics: Q&A, Waste | 26 Comments »

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Comment by mz
2007-09-07 14:16:54

crochet your own? really? i can’t imagine what that would feel like jenny (not to mention the dies..?). I am gonna try the natural ones again tho…great site:)

Comment by Jenn
2007-09-07 14:58:48

For the crocheted tampons, that discussion link talks about using organic, unbleached cotton… still, procede at your own risk :)

Comment by Karina
2007-09-07 15:35:39

I do have some (unbleached, I think?) hemp yarn at home that I haven’t used if you want to try an experiment!

Comment by stacey
2007-09-07 16:38:34

OMG! That seems like such a great gift – an awesome stocking stufffer! I want to crochet my own tampons.

Comment by Jenn
2007-09-07 17:15:09

What a great idea for a holiday Stitch n Bitch!!

Comment by stacey
2007-09-08 18:04:25

Sounds like fun – those and reusable cloth pad sets. So, is it a party?

Comment by Jenn
2007-09-08 20:05:24

It’s a party, for sure. Remind me as it gets closer and we’ll totally do this!

Comment by mz
2007-09-07 14:21:28

i forgot to say thanks for answering the question that i forgot i asked:))xo

Comment by Sangu
2007-09-07 16:09:59

my friend livi has a great plug for the Diva Cup:

Comment by Jenn
2007-09-07 17:15:42

Post on menstrual cups: coming soon!

Comment by JW
2007-09-07 16:50:29

Can’t wait for the larger post. I use what my mom used, which is an explanation, but not an excuse. I want an alternative, but my few experiments have not turned out well. I’m thinking about moving to the Diva Cup or sea sponges.

Comment by Jennifer
2007-09-08 19:23:51

the thing about the sea sponge is that since they are living creatures, when they are harvested the biome is directly affected and changed. also, they are very hard to fully clean, and still carry and hold bacteria the same way a tampon would.

i wanted to try them, too, but i was a little too concerned about the cleaning aspects (since you are putting it inside).

if you don’t like traditional style cloth pads, you could always try the menstrual cup or interlabial pads!

Comment by Jenn
2007-09-08 20:08:25

Interlabial pads– I’d never heard of them before– are they currently produced and available for purchase?

Comment by Amy
2007-09-07 17:18:41

‘ “…These fibers remain inside a woman’s uterus.”’

Leave fibers in your uterus? How do they get up there? You don’t put tampons in your uterus!

Comment by Jenn
2007-09-07 17:48:34

Ahh, those tampon fibers are wiley suckers! They will find a way to get up into your uterus!!

Comment by lorelei
2007-09-10 10:34:18

I know, it seems like they would just hang out in your vagina. I have a hard time believing everything goes north and collects inside your uterus. Maybe some stuff would go up there, but since the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, lots the fibers probably get washed out with discharge.

Comment by mz
2007-09-07 18:50:39

hemp….ouchitch?!….sorry to be the skeptic here but wouldn’t that be awfully leaky n you know sorta er…messy? i’m voting for the natural tampons first but if anyone wants to make me a present…i’d be open to trying (and reporting) on the crocheted one!

Comment by Jennifer
2007-09-08 11:51:00

i can’t use tampons, actually, because my partner is allergic to them. but anyway, it’s been over a year since i’ve used any sort of disposable menstrual product, and i feel all the better for it.

i like the cup, sometimes, but my real favorite method is cloth pads. nothing beats them.

Comment by kayte
2007-09-09 00:38:11

i use organic tampons but it annoys me that they wrap them in plastic. or at least seventh generation does. anyone know of an organic tampon that isn’t wrapped?

Comment by Jenn
2007-09-09 10:54:11

Wow, that’s crazy– Seventh Generation wraps their tampons in plastic?? Write them a note on the subject and let us know what they say! I’ve used Natracare brand, and they’re wrapped in paper, with a paper applicator.

Comment by sarah
2007-09-11 11:24:45

even natracare wraps their non-applicator tampons in plastic. It’s such a small amount, though, for both brands, that i suppose the environmental impact is less than if you had to throw out a bunch of the paper-wrapped (non-applicator) tampons in case they were exposed to moisture…?
(ps, love the site… this is my first comment! ^_^ )

Comment by kayte
2007-09-09 23:14:33

i am totally going to! they don’t have an applicator so i guess they are saving on resources in that way but i do think that the plastic wrapping is pretty silly and unnecessary.

Comment by joe
2008-08-21 10:49:53

I think that no matter what you use for tampon applicators it is still contaminated and i think im going to continue to use the tampons that have been used for so long instead of having some organic fibers irritating my female parts

2008-10-14 14:01:26

[...] Q&A: Organic Tampons? [...]

Comment by Gerovital
2010-08-30 21:48:26

It’s a very familiar body care technique. Process goes like this, first of all your body should be cleaned by a well known technique for body care called Body Massage. After that marine sediment is also applied in this treatment to make it more effective.

Comment by Buy Home
2010-08-31 12:08:09

Rental yields are quite high in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, while Asian countries benefit from strong economies. But their real estate markets’ rise has been limited, primarily by government mis-steps.


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