Tampon Danger Endometriosis & Dioxin

Facts about Toxic Shock Syndrome, Endometriosis and Dioxin 

Did you know that.....

  • The indidence of Endometriosis is at epidemic rates, and skyrocking.
  • Infertility afflicts 30% to 40% of women with endometriosis.
  • Dioxin, even in very low doses, builds up in the body over time
    • Dioxin is linked to cancer, endometriosis, immune system suppression, and hormone disruption.

Did you know that....  

  • Modern tampons have been around since the 1930s.
  • Tampons are used by up to 70 percent of menstruating women in the US today.
  • The average woman uses 11,000-17,000 tampons in a lifetime.
  • The claim that commercial tampons are harmful or possibly cancerous is not an urban legend, it is true.

  What is Dioxin? 

  • Dioxin is a byproduct of the chlorine bleaching used in the production of most tampons.  
  • Dioxin is a carcinogen that settles in fat cells and builds up over time.
  • Dioxin is linked to cancer, endometriosis, immune system suppression, and hormone disruption.
  • Dioxin is also the active chemical in Agent Orange.

Endometriosis and Dioxin

Click here to read some very interesting information about Endometriosis and Dioxins from the Endometriosis association in Wisconsin. Please read and share with the important women in your life.

 Fact: Winalite's Anion pads have NO dioxin.  

And, they are Therapeutic Goods of Australia (TGA) approved.


Tampons...Do You Know the Dangers?

It wasn't until manufacturers started adding synthetic materials in the 70s, in order to increase absorbency, that tampons were linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

  • 3 out of 4 of the super-synthetic absorbent fibers were banned in the 80s, but most tampons still carry the synthetic fiber rayon.
  • TSS is caused by a particular bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) that can produce toxins in the body.
  • Only about 10% of all TSS cases are reported to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), and many mild cases go unnoticed every year.
  • Studies have shown that 100% cotton tampons do not produce the TSS toxin from the bacteria, while tampons with rayon or other synthetic fibers do.
  • The same studies have concluded that the use of organic tampons may reduce the risk of TSS compared with tampons that contain rayon.
  • According to the CDC, the relative risk of TSS generally increases as the absorbency of the tampon increases.

Please read on to find out more from an interview that Alicia Preston did with Dr. Philip M. Tierno, Jr.: Director of Clinical Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology at Tisch Hospital, New York University Medical Centre. He is an expert on the dangers of tampons. (There is also a link down the bottom to Alicia’s blog)

We all know tampons can lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) but who knew they may lead to infertility? I said, "may," because there have not been any independent studies done. I have always wondered how safe tampons really are and curious if tampons can effect a woman's fertility. For five years I suffered through infertility and I have since been looking for all possible reasons on why I suffered so long and why I developed endometriosis.

To help answer some of my specific questions regarding the dangers of tampons, I spoke with Dr. Philip M. Tierno, Jr.: Director of Clinical Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology at Tisch Hospital, New York University Medical Centre. He is an expert on the dangers of tampons.

Here is some information I collected from speaking with Dr. Tierno:

Alicia: "How do tampons cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS)?
Dr. Tierno: "The material in the tampon can produce Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and this leads to toxic shock.
Note: If this bacteria is not destroyed by the antibodies in our bloodstream then TSS can occur. Some symptoms are: Sudden fever (102 F or more) and vomiting, diarrhoea, fainting or near fainting when standing up, dizziness, and a rash that looks like a sunburn.

Alicia: "Is it true there is a rise in TSS?"
Dr. Tierno: "True. But it never went away. Tampon manufacturers have taken out 3 of the 4 dangerous synthetic components. The 3 components taken out were polyester, carboxymethylcellulose and polyacrylate rayon. The highly absorbent viscose rayon is still used. The viscose rayon is the lesser of the 4 evils but it still produces toxins. A part of the problem is that women are opting to use overnight tampons. They do not set their alarm clocks to wake up and change their tampons so they are left in much longer then they should be. They should stay in no longer then six hours. Manufacturers have also increased the absorbent density. Now they have Ultra-absorbent tampons."
Note: The more absorbent the tampon, the higher chance you have of developing TSS. Therefore, use the lowest absorbent tampon you can get away with and change it frequently.

Alicia: "Does anyone know what tampons are made of besides the manufacturer?"
Dr. Tierno: "No."
Note: The FDA says it is proprietary information and therefore cannot be released. I find it very interesting that we know what is in our hand lotion but we have no idea what we put inside our bodies.

Alicia: "Have any independent tests been done on the overall safety of tampons?"
Dr. Tierno: "No. No one has given the money to a scientist to do the research."

Alicia: "Has there been any movement on the 'Tampon Safety & Research Act of 1999?'"
Dr. Tierno: "That is a good question." [He says laughing]

Alicia: "Is it because the companies you are going up against are billion dollar companies?"Dr. Tierno: He laughs and says, "Try trillion dollar companies. You should call Carolyn Maloney. She would answer that question for you."
Note: Ms. Maloney has been trying to push this bill and it keeps getting brushed aside. In 1997 she began asking for INDEPENDENT studies on the safety of tampons. All of the research done so far is from the manufacturers themselves. In the 75+ years of tampons being on the market not 1 independent test has been done.

So let me make sure you caught that: Tampons have been on the market since 1933 and not one independent study has been done on their safety. All of the studies done have been done by the tampon manufacturers themselves. Umm, do you think we should trust their results? In case you did not know, the FDA does not do the testing themselves. They simply go by what the manufacturer reports to them.

Up until Ms. Maloney reintroduced her bill in 1999, manufacturers bleached tampons with highly reactive chlorine gas bleach that creates dioxin. Dioxins are known to cause cancer in animals, and most likely cause cancer in people. The EPA also determined that people exposed to high levels of dioxins may be at risk for a damaged immune system, increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and reduced fertility. Recent research on monkeys has linked dioxin exposure with increased risks for developing endometriosis, a painful disease in which uterine tissue is found outside the uterus, frequently leading to infertility. Because of Ms. Maloney's persistence the manufacturers now use chlorine dioxide which will not make dioxins.

Alicia: "I know dioxin was a major concern before the manufacturers said they have changed the bleaching process. However, I would like to know for the millions of women who used tampons years before the change; how do dioxins leave the body?"
Dr. Tierno: "They get absorb into the vagina and some [not all] of it will detox through the liver. Even trace amounts of dioxin are cause for concern because tampons come in contact with some of the most absorbent tissue in the body. In addition, the effects of dioxin are cumulative and can be measured 20 to 30 years after exposure."
Note: While the bleaching process has changed in recent years, dioxin is still found in tampons (even those made of 100% cotton). The EPA states that due to decades of pollution, dioxin can be found in the air, water and ground. This means trace levels can be found in the cotton or wood pulp raw materials used to make tampons. The FDA currently requires that tampon manufacturers monitor dioxin levels, but as I already mentioned the results are not made available to the public.

Alicia: "Do you believe tampons can cause endometriosis?"
Dr. Tierno: "Dioxin is a known cause for endometriosis. Disrupted hormones can be a cause too. Another theory is that menstrual tissue pushes itself up the fallopian tubes [and exits into the body and starts to grow outside of the uterus]."

Alicia: "Can tampons cause the tissue to be pushed up?"
Dr. Tierno: "A tampon can back up the fluid once the tampon is full and the fluid can then accumulate. The fluid can be pushed up naturally but a tampon can also be a factor."
Note: Dr. Teirno said the most popular theory is that women have a genetic disposition for the decease.

Alicia: "Can Dioxin grow cysts inside of a woman's body?"
Dr. Tierno: "Dioxin can give rise to tumorous growth"

Alicia: "What is dangerous about the fibres that are left behind once you remove the tampon? Do they contain Silicone?"
Dr. Tierno: "We do not know. However, these fibres can cause odour and inflammation. If a woman has a chronic inflammation it can lead to infertility."

It was a very eye opening interview for me. Dr. Tierno said dioxin is a known cause for endometriosis. However, just the presence of a tampon may be a cause as well. This goes back to my gut instinct of the normality of a tampon. I often wondered how safe it really was for menstrual fluid to stay and accumulate in a woman's uterus and to have a synthetic material there as well. I have learned enough to feel there may be a few links between tampons and infertility, whether the links are direct or indirect. I encourage women to do their own research and come to their own conclusion.

Alicia Preston
http://friendinreach.blogspot.com/  - Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alicia_Preston