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May 24, 2018  |  Login

Use Bleach-Free Sanitary Protection

Opt for organic or bleach-free tampons to limit your exposure to dangerous toxins and reduce landfill build-up

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Many tampon creators use a chlorinated whitening process that releases toxic dioxins (chlorinated hydrocarbons) into the environment during tampon production and incineration. There are residuals of these toxins in the products and as a result, women are exposed to toxins that then build up in fat cells, accumulating with each additional exposure. Used sanitary products are usually flushed out to sea, incinerated, or deposited in landfills, which increases toxin exposure to sea life, the environment, and humans. Most conventionally-grown cotton (found in leading tampon brands) is sprayed with many different pesticides and is also genetically modified.

Remember to check the label on your tampon box when purchasing tampons. Some companies have stopped using chlorine bleach, but even if they switched to “elemental chlorine-free bleaching,” this does not necessarily mean that chlorine and dioxins have been eliminated. It might be easier to find tampons bleached with hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine (still a safer alternative because hydrogen peroxide whitening does not release dioxins) but the only way to ensure there are no dioxins is to use unbleached or totally chlorine-free tampons.

Some companies are now selling tampons made of 100% organic cotton. Organic products have not been treated with chemical sprays or genetically modified and many are even biodegradable. Both bleach-free and organic tampons usually come sans dyes or fragrances—perfect for those with sensitive skin. Organic and bleach-free tampons can be purchased for a slight premium at health food stores, such as Whole Foods, or online.


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1. Natracare. [2007] Your Health and the Environment. Available from:
[1 July 2008]

2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. [2008] Biotechnology at Work. Available from: [1 July 2008]

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