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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  • Gross! Use organic tampons instead… who know’s what’s in those other brands http://changeyourtampon.com/

    Organic tampons > Mold tampons

  • LightworkerGems

    I use the Keeper. Works great & I have used it for over a decade. the latex one is more comfortable than the silicone one. Years ago I heard tampons contain a substance that makes a woman bleed more…Didn’t sound good to me so I looked for alternatives.

  • What an awful thing to have happen. Kudos to Danielle for going public about it. Just as upsetting as the fact that she found mold in a tampon is the company’s response to her. But there are other little-known risks associated with these synthetic disposable menstrual products. One risk — still! — is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

    I recently interviewed a survivor of this deadly disease — Suzan Hutchinson — for Keeper.com, the website of The Keeper and Moon Cup reusable menstrual cups. Susan is now a spokesperson for You-ARE-loved.org, an organization dedicated to educating women about the fact that Toxic Shock is still a threat, especially to younger women.

    There are other options out there that women can use. One is reusable menstrual cups; another is reusable cotton menstrual pads. Both are also environment-friendly and pocketbook-friendly, because they are not tossed away after a single use. And as far as I know, there have been no cases of MOLD associated with either one of these options.

    To listen to the interview with Suzan, please go to keeper.com/hutchinson.html.

    Thanks so much.
    Julia Schopick
    Marketing Director
    The Keeper, Inc.

  • Karyn Kane

    Glad my mom gave me a Keeper Cup rather than a tampon all those years ago.

    • oh mi gosh!!! I have never ever in my entire life heard of this….thank you!!!! I’m researching about it. Great alternative…..

    • I just googled it, are we talking about the plumbing looking type tool? yikes.tis we are all different

  • Timothy David

    Common molds that grow on produce, and bread. The problem here is that Penicillium is a common mold that grows on bread, and baked goods. It also produces penicillin which I (and millions of others) am allergic to. Just saying.