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Safety of Feminine Hygiene Products Called Into Question

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Citing a lack of research exploring the safety of feminine hygiene products, Rep Carolyn B. Maloney (D, NY), along with 6 other Democratic colleagues, has written a letter urging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to initiate research into the potential health risks that dioxins, chlorine, synthetic fibers, and other elements in feminine hygiene products like tampons, pads, and douches pose to the women who use them (

The letter references a recent case involving a young woman who had used tampons and developed toxic shock syndrome (TSS). She also had a myocardial infarction and lost her leg and part of her foot when her infection turned to gangrene ( The letter also emphasized that research is needed to determine whether the use of feminine hygiene products could be linked to cervical cancer, endometriosis, infertility, or ovarian cancer.

“Women deserve to know that these products are safe and be provided with information they need to make informed purchasing decisions,” wrote the authors of the letter. The Food and Drug Administration requires that tampons come with labels warning of the risk of TSS; however, tampons sold in vending machines are exempt from that requirement (

The letter also requests details about research the NIH has previously conducted into the safety of feminine products.

  read more at JAMA

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