Synthetic Tampon Risks and Healthy Alternatives |

Synthetic Tampon Risks and Healthy Alternatives

Jodie March 30, 2016


By contributing Writer: Jodie 

Synthetic Tampon Risks and Healthy Alternatives

Little did I know as a young girl, the dangers and risks that synthetic tampons or pads posed to my own health. From an increase in cancer from pesticides used to grow the cotton, or the rayon used that increases hormonal disruption. When I was in my teens and started menstruating, (you know like at a normal age instead of the scary early ages of girls now) I was never allowed to even use a tampon. It was considered by my mom something reserved for when I have “matured”. I have to admit it felt like a pretty dumb excuse, and I eventually worked up the courage to start using tampons. Little did I know the danger all of those years has possibly contributed to my own health challenges.

The Labia is Highly Vascular and Ripe for Absorbing Chemicals.

One of the first concerns is the plastic applicator that the tampon can be encased in. Phthalates, which is a dangerous chemical found in these types of plastics is linked to the same genital abnormalities that are now among the most common birth defects in American baby boys. While no official scientific study has surfaced on this, I refuse to place plastic near my lady bits, that is for sure.

“For example, plasticizing chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development and are linked to heart disease and cancer. Phthalates — which give paper tampon applicators that smooth feel and finish — are known to dysregulate gene expression, and DEHP may lead to multiple organ damage. Besides crude oil plastics, conventional sanitary pads can also contain a myriad of other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odor neutralizers and fragrances. Synthetics and plastic also restrict the free flow of air and can trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting the growth of yeast and bacteria in your vaginal area.”

The Cotton (Non-Organic) of the Pad or Tampon Itself

Most women would never think twice about using a soft cottony white tampon or pad when they menstruate. After all, they have come a long way and are compact enough to get lost in the uterus! But in all seriousness, commercial tampons and pads utilize an enormous amount of synthetic fibers and non-organic cotton.

Cotton is one of the most tainted and dirtiest natural fibers on the planet.

MotherJones: in the US {tampons} are usually made of non-organic cotton, rayon, or a combination of these materials, along with synthetic fibers like viscose rayon that are added in to increase absorbency. But the non-organic cotton in pads and tampons have soaked up at least some of the more than 55 million pounds of pesticides (PDF) sprayed on cotton fields in the US each year that occasionally make it into our surface water. Diuron, one of the herbicides used on cotton, has even been pegged as a “likely” human carcinogen by the EPA (PDF) and it’s also linked to birth defects. Then there’s the bleaching processes that gives pads and tampons their ivory white appearance. Most manufacturers bleach rayon by using the disinfectant chlorine dioxide in a process that produces trace amounts of a toxin called dioxin, which is known to cause reproductive and developmental impairment at certain levels, though the FDA says that dioxins in contemporary tampons exists at extremely low levels that are hardly detectable. Chlorine-free tampons and pads, however, are out there, made by companies like Honest Company, Natracare, and Seventh Generation.

This recent study also has found a very concerning herbicide called glyphosate. Nearly 85% of commercial tampons and 100% of pads contained this. It is linked to cancer, bad news for your female reproductive systems.

Dangers of Synthetic Tampons and Natural Alternatives

So Choose Wisely!

Natural and safe options that will empower you to choose a safe and natural product to support your precious uterus (and your daughters too) are becoming more widely available.

  • Menstrual Cups 

I have to admit these are still taking some getting used to for me, but I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am experimenting with the Diva Cup, but there are certainly many options on the market. Be sure to take note of different size options where applicable for pre and post childbirth.

Natural Pads and Tampons (organic)

By far, one of the easiest things switch is just plain ol’ organic and natural. I love:

Reusable mentraul Pads HERE

Natracare both Pads and Tampons

Of course, your local health food store should also carry these safe options.

Above all, adjusting your lifestyle to a chemical free one takes time, diligence and intention. Baby steps are sometimes in order, but when we know better we choose better.

What Do You Use for Natural Tampons or Pads, and Please Pass the Info Along to Friends and Family!




This is the writings of:

  1. I always loved the Diva Cup. However, it doesn’t fit as well after childbirth. It leaks a lot, so I can’t wear it alone like I used to. It’s probably different for everyone, but I’ve heard similar comments from other mothers.


  2. I always loved the Diva Cup, but it doesn’t fit as well after childbirth. It leaks a lot more now, so it’s annoying having to wear a pad with it.


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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