Organic Verses Non-Organic Tampons
What’s the difference?
Non-organic tampons contain regular cotton grown with pesticides, and also have synthetic rayon mixture that has been bleached and turned white by chlorine. Chemical fragrances and dyes have also been used. Rayon is used for absorption while the fragrance is for obvious purposes. Tampons that are not organic also contain an applicator made of pearly plastic that is smooth for comfort during insertion.
Tampons that are organic are made using organic cotton that is grown without pesticide, has no fragrance and is chemical dye free. The applicator in tampons that are organic is made of biodegradable material. They are thus 100 percent cotton tampons. Each organic period box has its own way of manufacturing their organic tampon product i.e. Seventh Generation uses a cardboard that is biodegradable. You can check for organic certifications through Quality assurance international and Global organic textile standard.
About Chemicals contained in Regular Tampons
The FDA regulates tampons as medical devices thus absorbency levels in organic and the non-organic tampons are regular. The regulations put by the FDA on packaging also helps manage Toxic shock syndrome. The chlorine used to bleach non-organic tampons contains dioxin, an Endocrine disruptor linked to diseases like cancer and endometriosis. The smooth plastic used in non-organic tampons also contains another endocrine disruptor called phthalates that have health hazard links. The effects of these chemicals are not immediate but can be said to have a cumulative effect, if used over a long period of time. A woman is said to averagely use about 11000 tampons during her lifetime. A decrease in constant exposure is thus advised.
Allergic reactions can also be due to the fragrance and also the chemicals used in a regular tampon. This allergic reaction can be in the form vulvitis. Vulvitis causes the vulva to experience an itchy and burning irritation.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
This syndrome is a rare bacterial condition linked to some types of absorbency tampons. Manufacturers stopped production of these super-absorbers and it is also why instructions on period boxes appear as they are written. This was a bid by the FDA to prevent a recurrence of the toxic syndrome. As long as brands stick to regulations and consumers follow proper tampon usage guidelines, the risk of the toxic syndrome is minimized in both organic and non-organic tampons. The risk currently stands at 1 for every 100,000 tampon users.
Availability and Disposal of Organic Tampons
Tampons that are organic are currently available online in sites like Kaliboxes, which only deals with organic tampon brands. These tampons are a bit more expensive. Regular tampons (a box of 40 plus applicator) go for roughly $10 a box at Walmart while a box of a tampon that is organic (16 plus applicator) costs $6.99 or $0.44 a piece, compared to the $0.25 a piece or non- organic tampons.Tampons that are organic, like all tampons, should be disposed of using a landfill system. In as much as they are biodegradable, they will pose a health biohazard and spread disease if left to biodegrade naturally in say, a compost pit.Organic or non-organic, that is now up to you.