Let’s Talk Tampons. Seriously.

In December of last year, Kimberly Clark recalled the regular absorbency U by Kotex Tampons from all store shelves in the United States and Canada. There had been numerous reports of Kotex tampons falling apart inside the body, causing infections, injuries, and other problems. Some even sought medical attention to remove the pieces left inside of them. The manufactured products in question were made between October 2016 and October 2018, and Kotex insists that no other products of theirs were affected.

But with tampons, manufacturing is not the only problem that exists.

Tampax and Kotex are two of the most popular tampon-producing companies to date. In fact, in 2018, the Tampax Pearl alone generated 298 million dollars in sales for the brand. Despite the widespread use, many are unaware of the toxins that exist within these products. Womxn’s menstrual products are notoriously under-regulated (which has prompted many movements, including the clean beauty revolution). Tampon manufacturers do not have to list the ingredients on the packaging.

Enter Talia Frenkel. A former photojournalist and all around girl boss who has documented humanitarian crisis around the world, took it upon herself to make a change. She founded L. in hopes of making high-quality organic products and empowering womxn around the world. L. supplies womxn who don’t have access to clean period products with them, as when someone purchases an L. product, another is donated. Additionally, L. is committed to ensuring the advancement of grassroots womxn's organizations and provides machines to create the product, rather than just the product itself.  

Now, this is not just a shameless ad and no, this is not sponsored.

Mainstream tampons contain harmful toxins such as rayon (which commonly increases the chances of Toxic Shock Syndrome), dioxin (related to chlorine processing), non-organic cotton (known to contain harmful pesticides and herbicides), and BPA (found in plastic, disrupts hormone levels). These toxins are being placed inside of the most absorbent part of a woman’s body. As a matter of fact, an individual womxn is estimated to use 16,000 tampons in their lifetime.

I bought my first package of organic tampons this month. The applicator worked just the same and (to those of us who are swayed by wrapping) came in equally as adorable sparkly blue packaging. And yes, they worked flawlessly.

Womxn deserve products that are safe to use, no matter where they live. Womxn should be able to continue their education and have access to safe menstrual products in order to so. In many places around the world, this is not the case. The topic of womxn’s health is still taboo. So much so, that a scene involving tampon use was cut from Fifty Shades of Grey, considered too inappropriate for the film adaption of the novel. There must be an active dialogue surrounding womxn’s health and the products that go in their bodies. By supporting a company that is dedicated to both the health and advancement of all womxn, I know that my money has been spent wisely.