|By Jenny Marie DeJesus||Page 1/3|
For years, women have been using
tampons without knowing the risks.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
According to the Terra Femme web pages on TSS and TSS symptoms and preventions, most officially diagnosed cases of tampon-related TSS occur in women under 30 years of age, especially among teenagers 15 to 19 years of age.
TSS is fatal in about six percent of cases. Sixty percent of TSS fatalities are reported to be in women 15 to 24 years of age, and 98 percent of these are white women. Women who have survived TSS have suffered miscarriages, loss of hair and limbs, paralysis, severe organ damage, reduced lung capacity and various other ailments.
TSS is caused by a strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacterial toxin known as TSST-1. The symptoms of TSS, according to the terra femme web page include: a high fever, sunburn-like rash, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, disorientation, headache, sore throat, achy muscles, fainting, flu-like symptoms, peeling skin, bloodshot eyes and a rapid decrease of blood pressure.
In the 1980s, researchers learned that
improper tampon use was spreading
TSS to unknowning women.
The Other Dangers
Even though Tampax and Playtex warn consumers about TSS, manufacturers fail to mention the controversy over other suspected dangers of wearing tampons. These risks arise from the synthetic fibers that make tampons and the chemicals used to bleach them. Advocacy groups and industry representatives advance competing claims about whether these manufacturing processes are dangerous.
According to S.P.O.T.: The Tampon Health Website, nearly all major brand tampons contain synthetic fibers and go through a chlorine bleaching process, which produces toxic by-products such as dioxin and furan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has done a study which shows that excess chlorine causes cancer in humans, and both the immune and reproductive systems can be damaged by minimal quantities.
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