There May Be Toxic Metals in Your Tampons, Study Shows

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jul.09 - 2024 5:55 PM CET

Scientists have found toxic metals in many tampons.

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Millions of women use tampons every month in connection with their periods.

But a study by researchers from the University of Berkeley has revealed a concerning discovery.

They tested 30 different tampons from various brands and found toxic metals such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium in all of them.

This finding worries researchers for two reasons.

Toxic metals can be found in many places in our daily lives, but this study shows that they are also present in products that come very close to the skin.

For several reasons, the researchers point out that women are at higher risk of being exposed to these metals.

Firstly, the skin in the vagina is more likely to absorb chemical substances than other areas of the body.

Secondly, between 50 and 80 percent of menstruating women use tampons, which means they are exposed to these chemicals for several hours at a time.

Diverse Tampon Samples

Researchers tested tampons from 14 different brands, purchased from the USA, Europe, and England, including both organic and non-organic varieties.

They found that non-organic tampons had higher levels of lead, while organic tampons had higher levels of arsenic.

None of the tampons had low concentrations of all or most metals.

The metals could come from various parts of the production process, including the water used. These metals might be added to improve absorbency, control odors, and aid in product setup.

A Similar Case

This isn’t the first time potentially harmful substances have been found in products used in sensitive body areas.

For example, the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson faced lawsuits over their talcum powder, which was found to potentially contain asbestos, a known carcinogen.