Are tampons and pads safe? For many women, tampons have become such an everyday thing, we may not even think about what we’re inserting in our bodies. This was certainly true when I was younger, but after becoming a mother and getting more information, I now want to know what I am introducing into my body or putting against my body in order to measure the risks I am taking.
Health Canada requires manufacturers to show on their packaging the manufacturing materials, including additives, deodorants, wetting agents and preservatives.
Picking up a box, I can clearly read that tampon are made of cotton, rayon, or a blend of both materials. It also warns that tampons are associated with toxic shock syndrome. It explains that it’s a rare but serious disease that may cause death. In order to reduce the risk of getting toxic shock syndrome, you should select the minimum absorbency needed to control your menstrual flow and shouldn’t keep them longer than 3 hours.
Tampon manufacturers are also required to include a warning on the packaging that tampons are associated with toxic shock syndrome. It explains that it’s a rare but serious disease that may cause death. Toxic shock due to toxins released by a bacterium which presents naturally in the vagina of 20% to 30% of women. In order to reduce the risk of getting toxic shock syndrome, you should select the minimum absorbency needed to control your menstrual flow and shouldn’t keep them longer than 4 hours and do not use over night. The initial symptoms are similar to the flu and can include high fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, fainting and disorientation.
All tampons licensed for sale in Canada use a standardised absorbency-labelling system.
You shouldn’t use tampons if you have been diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome in the past.
In the case of sanitary pads, unfortunately, manufacturers are not required to list the materials on the packaging. The disposable products used during menstruation are not harmless. Many women have developed symptoms of intolerance or irritation, itching or repeated vaginal infections in connection with these items. I do not understand why Health Canada does not apply the same requirement as tampons on sanitary pads.
The Canadian Cancer Society, for its part, emphasises that there is no scientific evidence to establish a clear link between certain female cancers and the wearing of sanitary protection.
A study ran by the University of La Plata in Argentina suggest that 85% of tampons contain glyphosate, which is a carcinogenic substance. I did not see that substance showing up on the side of my tampon box. Does it mean that tampons sold in Canada are safe or is someone simply not telling the whole story?