Whole Story

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Tam-Pontification

By Seventh Generation, June 26, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Seventh Generation
While you are probably aware of the importance of eating organic foods, have you thought much about the importance of organic feminine hygiene products? Our friends at 7th Generation have. Check out what they have to say and spread the word to the women in your life. Cotton Tampons are a big part of the monthly female lexicon. American women spend about $2 billion on them annually and will use about 11,000 during their lifetimes. But they are a product that few people regularly discuss. That dynamic needs to change: Tampons, which come into contact with some of the most sensitive tissue in a woman's body, aren't as straightforward as they seem. Tampons are typically made from a variety of materials including conventional cotton, rayon or a blend of both fibers. Conventional cotton is one of the "dirtiest" crops in the modern world. According to the USDA, in 2003 U.S. cotton farmers applied an eye-popping 55 million pounds of pesticides to their fields. And global cotton production also uses high levels of pesticides. Many of these agricultural toxins are classified as "extremely or highly hazardous" by the World Health Organization. In addition to polluting groundwater and soil, seven of the 15 most commonly-used cotton pesticides have been identified as possible human carcinogens by the EPA. (Others are known to damage the nervous system and are suspected of disrupting the body's hormonal system.) When we buy tampons made with conventional cotton, we contribute to these kinds of environmental pollution. Rayon also needs further scrutiny. The wood pulp that forms a base material for most rayon is typically treated with chlorine-based bleach. This manufacturing process results in the creation of chlorinated toxins, which can accumulate in the environment over time. Conventional tampons can also contain any number of other ingredients that women might not want to be intimate with. These include absorbency enhancers, synthetic deodorants and artificial fragrances. Add it all up and the term "feminine protection" becomes a bit of a misnomer. An alternative is to use organic cotton tampons made from pure natural cotton that hasn't been grown in a soup of pesticides. They don't contain rayon or synthetic additives, and most have been manufactured using a chlorine-free process that doesn't create chlorinated toxins. When you buy organic cotton tampons and pads, you make a statement that you want to make the world a safer, healthier place for you, your family and generations to come.

 

23 Comments

Comments

Julie Kretzmer says ...
It's an important thing to think about. I first encountered reusable homemade cloth menstrual pads a few years ago. I was definitely skeptical, but they actually work well...and cut down on the waste produced every month. The packaging alone on conventional products is outrageous. I am glad Seventh Generation is at least making a product that helps protect women from the potentially harmful pesticides, artificial fibers, and chlorinated toxins. Thanks!
06/27/2009 7:37:01 PM CDT
Jill says ...
Try the diva cup as an even more eco friendly alternative.
06/28/2009 2:04:39 PM CDT
Josie Guz says ...
Have non organic tampons been tested and proved to contain pesticides or any other ingredient that is harmful to humans?
06/28/2009 2:54:27 PM CDT
Camilla says ...
Are these diva cups actually comfortable? I've heard about them, but they always seemed a little scary to me and I don't know anyone who uses them.
06/29/2009 5:22:18 PM CDT
Rhapsody says ...
How about skipping the monthly chore and taking a hormone pill like seaonale? That DEFINITELY cuts down on waste (and saves money!).
06/29/2009 5:36:45 PM CDT
Jobob Arikan says ...
My wife ceased the use of tampons years ago after the toxic shock events. Thank you for bringing to light another example of how modern science contributes to the death of the planet and its inhabitants.
07/03/2009 9:19:08 PM CDT
Jobob Arikan says ...
the mere idea od altering restricting a woman's cycle through the use of man-made chemical big pharma should give anyone with even a smattering of common sense shudders.
07/03/2009 9:21:19 PM CDT
Jamie H. says ...
Yes I have used the diva cup and although it takes getting used to (much like the first couple of times you used tampons) it is very comfortable. And once it is bought you don't have to buy anything else. Saving money and the planet at the same time can't get much better than that.
07/06/2009 5:02:35 PM CDT
afribella says ...
I thank you for this information. I ust to wear tampons when I was younger but I stopped. Soon after women were being diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome. I was told it was better to wear pads to allow the body to breath. I was reading about tampons and found that the egyptians used papyrus as the first tampon. Where can you buy organic tampons? Thanks again for the infor. I will surely pass it along.
07/15/2009 3:20:19 AM CDT
jay says ...
I'm a teenager and I've always used tampons and pads but after having read about the dangers of tampons adn seeing the amount of waste that both products create, I'm looking into the DivaCup and other more sustainable methods of dealing the "curse" as many women consider it. However it is not a curse but a blessing, and one that I would not recommend anyone alter with hormones =\
08/19/2009 3:00:38 PM CDT
Neve says ...
I use the organic cotton applicator free tampons from Whole Foods and love them. The packaging in almost non-existent, and the applicator free format saves so much waste and allows for more control of placement for comfort. Also they are so tiny i can easily slip one into my pocket at work without anyone noticing. Discovered them kind of by accident at whole food one time, and now by far my favorite tampon.
09/03/2009 11:50:35 AM CDT
Mary says ...
I echo what another commenter said about the Diva Cup. I will never ever use another tampon or pad. A Diva Cup (or some of the other similar products available) are the best thing ever. I've only used mine for 2 months, but my period is shorter in duration, the Diva Cup is comfortable (can't even feel it) and after the first day I can wear it for 12 hours without worrying about it. My flow is heavy on day one and I have to empty it after 4 or 5 hours, but that's no big deal. There's a learning curve (don't give up!) but after getting the hang of how it fits in your body, it's a wonderful product.
11/06/2009 12:31:39 PM CST
wilma says ...
i just read the comment posted by a teenager name jay. i must say for a young person in years, she has the right thought about her flow...it is a blessing like none other, and why indeed would any woman want to alter that most power-ful of phenomenal events that only a woman is capable of experiencing?
12/10/2009 12:15:24 AM CST
rosie says ...
Diva Cups Rock! it was hard at first, but now its super comfortable, and once you have it its all you need! you never need to worry about having a tampon with you, and you never have to worry about having enough to last over a weekend or such if you are going away. it also is much safer, i leave it in way longer than the recommended time and i have been fine. I highly recommend trying one
10/20/2010 11:13:43 PM CDT
vicki says ...
do you carry organic tampons?
02/10/2011 7:42:32 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Vicki You can check with your local store for their exact product availability, but most stores do carry organic tampons.
02/14/2011 10:56:32 AM CST
Helen says ...
I wish you could carry the Lunette menstrual cup here in Canadian stores! I love this brand and it is superior to other menstrual cups.
05/20/2011 10:23:22 PM CDT
K says ...
I heard from someone that they are great and she runs with them
11/13/2011 9:30:25 PM CST
K says ...
Then why is the Whole Foods 365 brand tampon NOT organic? The number-one ingredient is rayon.
08/02/2012 12:35:01 PM CDT
Dawn Girard says ...
Are the 365 brand tampons made with organic cotton and are they chlorine free? If so, do you have any documentation?
12/30/2012 8:04:17 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DAWN - I was able to check with our private label team and the 365 tampons are not made with organic cotton and they are elemental chlorine free. Hope this helps!
12/31/2012 11:52:36 AM CST
Stephanie says ...
I was having horrible reactions to pads for years and I always thought that it was something I had to deal with. Enough was enough and I did my own research and switched to organic pads and have never had any problems since. The diva cup was too uncomfortable for me so the organic pads will do for now.
06/17/2013 7:47:22 PM CDT
Susann says ...
I recently purchased the 365 brand of tampons only to find out that they contain non-organic cotton AND rayon (wood fibers toxic to the body). How can WF feel good about selling this brand - a retailer who stands for selling natural and organic products - when there is nothing organic or natural about them? Very disappointed in Whole Foods
01/16/2014 7:45:41 PM CST