We take for granted that feminine hygiene products are actually…hygienic. And why wouldn’t we — tampons and pads come sealed and wrapped in enough layers that they seem practically sterile, right?

Not exactly. Add the story of Danielle Parr to your list of things to think about as you try to navigate the world working with the reproductive organs that God gave you. She accidentally pushed back the applicator to a Kotex tampon and discovered that it was covered in black and green mold. It’s scary enough that she would not have seen the mold had she not removed the applicator (which of course very few tampon users do), but even worse that her complaints to the company garnered only a semi-concerned response insisting the mold is not dangerous. Kimberly Clark, the company that manufactures Kotex tampons, told her:

“We understand how distressing it can be to find mold on a product that is used for personal hygiene and apologize for your concern. In instances where it has been found, we conducted tests on the product involved and have found the mold to be a common environmental species that carries no health risk. The vegetative mold is similar in nature to mold on vegetables or in baked goods.”

So this has happened before and the company insists that this tampon mold is like the mold found on old bread? Guess what? I don’t want that in my vagina either. Who cares if it’s not outright life-threatening, I refuse to believe that putting mold inside of my body is at all OK.

Kotex also sent Danielle Parr a bunch of coupons with which to buy more tampons, and she plans to individually check every tampon she uses from now on. Watch a news report explaining the incident with a doctor’s opinion that mold in the vagina is not only disgusting but generally not a good look.

What do you think of this story? Will it change your tampon usage?

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