Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Moldy tampons and health...


Photo Credit: http://www.parrforthecourse.com/   


Today's planned post has to wait. There were two pressing things in my inbox this morning which could not be ignored.

If you have not read my previous post HERE on the symptoms of tampon related toxic shock syndrome which I wrote in cooperation with the fantastic foundation dedicated to TSS awareness, You Are Loved (found HERE, this might be a good time to do so. The fact remains that there are some substantial risk associated with their use and there are safe, green options such as using cloth menstrual pads and reusable silicon cups, see my post HERE. The reason that I am bringing this all up again, instead of discussing red pepper paste (which will instead be Friday) is because my friend and fellow blogger Lisa at Mile Hi Mama linked on FB to a pretty horrifying blog post by a woman who found a moldy tampon in a brand new package she had purchased. Creeped out yet? Yeah, me, too. She first blogged about the tampon HERE and she carried Kotex's response HERE.

How did Kotex respond? Well, at first they told her this:

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.

But now they are asking her to send in this specific tampon for testing so that they can verify just what kind of mold it is. She took the high route and instead handed it over to a local news organization which is having an objective third party lab perform the testing. I personally think this was a much better idea than sending it back to Kotex. But regardless of what kind mold it is, the tampon is dangerous with or without it. It is just better to avoid tampons in the first place. Your health is too precious to risk it.

Further on the topic of health, it can be tricky to avoid the Hepatitis shot for newborns in the hospital without incurring the wrath of the staff. When I decline, I always told the staff that we prefer to do all of our vaccinations with a single provider for the purpose of consistency of medical treatments and records. I am not about to get into arguments with people who can make my life harder than it needs to be and in Colorado, women who have had as many children as me can't deliver in birth centers and being high risk,  I can't deliver at home. I don't fight with the hospital staff. But sometimes not fighting is not enough. Read this story HERE about a mother who had to deliver in a hospital ambulance in the parking lot and who declined the vaccination just to have the state take the baby and "consent" to the vaccine. If you find it in your heart and pocketbook, please donate to their legal cause through the HSLDA. No one should have their parental rights over their child stripped away like this. Sarah Pope at the Healthy Home Economist wrote about it today HERE. We as a family are contributing to their cause. I hope you will as well.

Avoiding interventions can be very, very tricky. I usually just tell any medical staff that I come into contact with that my children have and will continue to have "every vaccination that they need" and I leave it at that. What my husband's and my perception of what they need may be different than theirs but that is hardly of consequence. But it has me wondering how other families choose to handle this question. We have a child who had a documented anaphylactic reaction to the MMR and another with a history of anaphylaxis to egg whites. When we explain that we have to approach things differently and that we would never offer medication or vaccination without first consulting an immunologist, we don't get trouble because they assume that we are covered. But if we did not have this "cover" what would we do? What do you do?

Linking up to Real Food Wednesday!

15 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Well, at the latest dr. visit it came up (new doctor) and I told her that since the last vaccination sent my daughter to the ER with face swelling, and two other siblings have had severe reactions, then we do it one by one on an as needed basis.

    We have been kicked out of a ped clinic for not having the MMR, even though we had a documented medical reason for waiting. It says right on the vax "do not give to someone who's had an allergic reaction to previous doses"!

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    1. I am lucky, I have a doctor I don't have to worry about but it has come up at different times. Like when one of the kids needed stitches after a fall out of a tree, they asked me point blank about vax. It makes me so nervous to deal with it!

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  3. yeah...it's a tricky issue. I tell the doctors that we are delaying vax for now and plan to selectively vax in the future, and leave it at that. I don't justify my actions. Even to my ped I say that we have researched the issue and feel comfortable with our current decision. Of course I have the luxury of using the military healthcare system and they can't drop us so I don't have that worry.

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  4. not that I use tampons, but in general I try to keep mold away from my junk. I think its a good life rule.

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    1. Big D, you are hilarious. But agreed, mold is decidedly not for junk.

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  5. we just were speaking with a friend the other day who mentioned that both of her brothers had profound reactions, one going into shock, from the pertussis vaccine. Admittedly this was in the 80's and the vaccine is no longer whole cell and therefore less reactions, severe or otherwise, have been associated with the new version.

    However the point that I found myself making is that vaccines, interventions, modern medicine in general is not bad wholesale, but its not good wholesale either. The problem with the contemporary understanding of medical interventions is that it has become universal rather than individual. If someone has a biological disposition toward reaction to a medicine or a vaccine, then it might be a good idea to look into alternatives or to forego that given intervention, even if it ends up being something that is generally a positive force for the average individual.

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  6. I would never think mold would be on a tampon since most are bleached. I am not a fan of tampons. I love the cups. I use Instead brand and will never go back to tampons.

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  7. It is so hard to go against the, 'experts' and not be branded a wack-o. Even dietarily not eating according to conventional thought earns a person a new label. My heart goes out to those dealing with raising their children against the grain, even when the grain has proved to be less than ideal and at times, deadly.

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    1. I am definitely in the freak camp. But happily so.

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  8. Eww! Mold on a tampon - gross. I don't care that it's "vegetative" mold. I don't eat moldy foods and I don't think you want to put even that kind of mold IN your body. Another reason to be glad I don't use tampons anymore.

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  9. 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.

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    1. Thanks, Julia! I am acquainted with Suzan through Twitter and she was the one who got me involved with You Are Loved. I will link to her interview from my personal and blog FB. Thanks so much!

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  10. I just switched to cloth pads.

    Holy cow now I'm glad.

    Sick.

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