New research finds lead, arsenic and other metals in tampon products

Woman's hand holding a clean cotton tampon

A new study has found that tampons contain several metals, including arsenic and lead.

“Our findings indicate a need for regulations requiring manufacturers to test for metals in tampons,” the study said.

The study, published July 3 by Environment International, analyzed 30 tampons from 14 tampon brands and found they contained measurable concentrations of the following metals:

  • Arsenic.
  • Barium.
  • Calcium.
  • Cadmium.
  • Cobalt.
  • Chrome.
  • Buyer.
  • Iron.
  • Manganese.
  • Mercury.
  • Nickel.
  • Pipe.
  • Selenium.
  • Strontium.
  • Vanadium.
  • Zinc.

“Although toxic metals are ubiquitous and we are exposed to low levels at any given time, our study clearly shows that metals are also present in menstrual products and that women may be at greater risk of exposure when using these products,” said study co-author Kathrin Schilling.

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Exposure to metal in tampons has ‘high potential for public concern’

According to a press release about the study, tampons “are of concern as a potential source of exposure to chemicals, including metals, because the skin of the vagina is more likely to absorb chemicals than skin elsewhere on the body.”

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