Be careful with the tampons you use: Study finds lead and arsenic in these brands

Researchers found more than a dozen metals, including lead and arsenic, in widely distributed tampons in United States and Europepotentially used by millions of people.

In 30 tampons from 14 different brands analyzed Lead was found, according to a study published this week in the journal Environmental International. Exposure to lead can cause neurological damage.

Tampax and Kotex among the affected brands

This is the first paper to measure metal concentrations in tampons, said Jenni Shearston, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health and lead author of the study. She added that more research is needed to see if tampons are safe. Metals leach out of tampons.

Their presence is particularly worrying given that vaginal skin is more permeable than other areas of the body and anything absorbed into the bloodstream from there does not first pass through the gastrointestinal tract or get filtered by the liver, according to the study authors.

The products were purchased at USA, United Kingdom and Greecealthough the researchers did not name the brands. The main brands of tampons analyzed include:

  • Tampax from Procter & Gamble Co.
  • Kotex by Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • Playtex by Edgewell Personal Care Co.

How do lead and arsenic get into tampons?

Tampons are made of cotton, rayon or a combination of bothThe researchers said it is possible the metals were absorbed from the soil by the plants used to make the products. They could also be added to chemicals. used as antimicrobials or odor control, the report said.

The study found that organic tampons contained less lead and more arsenic than non-organic ones and Tampons purchased in the United States had higher lead levels than those in the European Union or the United KingdomThe researchers also measured cadmium, copper, mercury and nickel, among others.

“Our findings point to the need for regulations requiring manufacturers to test tampons for metals,” the study authors wrote.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration The FDA regulates tampons as sanitary products. The agency requires tampon manufacturers to prove that their products are the same as others on the market, a process that includes safety testsalthough it is not clear whether that includes metal measurement.