what the companies say:

from the kotex Q&A about Toxic Shock Syndrome page: "How can I reduce my chance of getting TSS? Probably the single best thing you can do is to use the lowest absorbency or size tampon that meets your menstrual flow needs. You may also be able to reduce your chance of getting TSS during menstruation by alternating tampon use with pad use."

from the Tampax web site: "What is the link between TSS and tampon use? The link is not clearly understood. However, tampon research shows that the risk of tampon-related TSS is associated with absorbency: the higher the absorbency the higher the risk; the lower the absorbency the lower the risk. That is why a woman should always use the lowest absorbency tampon for her menstrual flow. Can the risk of tampon-related TSS be reduced? There are several things that can be done. Women should use the lowest absorbency tampon for their menstrual flow. The risk of tampon-related TSS may also be reduced by using pads as an alternative from time to time during a period."

from the Johnson and Johnson website:
" . . . we are responsible . . . to the world community . . . Our Credo"

the truth

Fact: Tampons that are bleached using chlorine (most of the mainstream brands) contain dioxin, a highly toxic chemical that is "potentially carcinogenic, . . . toxic to the immune system and a cause of birth defects . . . dioxin is cumulative and slow to disintegrate, [therefore] the real danger comes from repeated contact." (p.s. pads contain dioxin too . . . so do most paper products . . .including diapers)

Fact: Most tampons contain synthetic fibers (such as rayon) which create an ideal environment for the bacteria that causes Toxic Shock Syndrome to grow.

both from "Pulling The Plug On The Sanitary Protection Industry" By Karen Houppert (Feb. 7th, 1995 Village Voice article)

AUGH! So what CAN I use?

silly, there are alternatives available . . . a good list of alternative tampons and pads can be found at the SPOT . . . a list with other alternatives can be found at the red spot , including menstrual cups, sea sponges, and the advantages and disadvantages of all of the above . . .

What to do?

Contact your congresspeople and TELL them to support "The Tampon Safety and Research Act of 1997," (H.R. 2900), November 11, 1997. , which will support public funding of research into this. (most research thus far has been sponsored by the tampon manufacturers).

Don't know who your congressperson is? Click here. or call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
An article about the proposed legislation.

and write the companies and tell them that you will not purchase their products until they are safe!

Edward Fogarty, President
Tambrands, Inc.
777 Westchester Ave.
White Plains, NY 10604
(914) 696-6000

kotex mail form

Playtex doesn't have a web site yet:
Cal Gauss, President
Playtex Products, Inc.
P.O. Box 7016
Dover, Del. 19903
(302) 674-6000

Johnson and Johnson feedback form (Personal Product Co. is a subsidiary of J&J)
Johnson & Johnson
One J and J Plaza
New Brunswick, N.J. 08933
(908) 524-0400

Colleen Goggins, President
Personal Products Co. (they make O.B. tampons)
Van Liew Ave.
Milltown, N.J. 08850
(908) 524-0500

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