A recent study found that a number of tampons sold in the United States had traces of several toxic metals, including lead and arsenic. The study was published by the public and environmental health sciences journal Environmental International and has now further the discussion of product regulation.

According to the study, 16 metals were evaluated in different kinds of tampons. The metals included arsenic, barium, calcium, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, mercury, nickel, lead, selenium, strontium, vanadium, and zinc. The study found "measurable concentrations of all 16 metals assessed." In the tampons, there were several concentrations of lead, cadmium and arsenic.

Findings did differ by region and types of tampons. For instance, non-organic tampons had higher concentrations of lead while organic tampons had higher concentrations of arsenic. According to the study, "no category had consistently lower concentrations of all or most metals.

@jpall20 Idk which story is worse #dengue #denguefever #illness #mosquito #health #violence #crime #tampons #tampon #heavymetal #toxic #lead #controversial ♬ Illusion of Perception - VEL94EV

What tampon brands were tested?

The study outlines that "a variety of disposable tampon products representing multiple manufacturers, brands, product lines, and absorbencies" were used for the study. A total of 24 tampons were tested that represented 14 brands, 18 product lines and five absorbencies. The study states that researchers "selected products that were listed as top sellers on a major online retailer, as well as “store-brand” products (products with the brand name of the store where purchased or made specifically for that store) from several large chain retailers in the U.S."

In an article with CBS News, the researchers were led by Jenni Shearston, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, the study does not list the brands used and the researchers are "not able to provide a list of the brands tested." Prior to the study, as assumed by the researchers, there has not been similar research to measuring metals in tampons.

@juliebettencourt I literally read like 4 articles to make sure the information was factual... ♬ original sound - Julie Bettencourt341

What dangers does toxic metals in tampons pose to users?

The study concluded that tampon use is a potential source of metal exposure. Some toxic metals, like lead, have no "safe" exposure level. The vagina allows for efficient absorption as it's a more permeable area of the body. Plus, anything absorbed vaginally does not filter through the liver and directly enters systemic circulation.

The study states that future research is needed to determine whether metals leached out of tampons and crossed into the bloodstream is harmful.

@torikimminau it’s very hard to have a hot girl summer in these conditions :( #tampon #tampons #playtex #tampax #feminineproducts #notsoslay #yikes #ihateithere #jamescharles #newd #globalnews ♬ original sound - tori kimminau

This research sparks more conversations and worries regarding product regulation.

The research regarding toxic metals in tampons comes less than a week after the United States Supreme Court overturned Chevron, which was a 1984 decision that gave federal agencies the lead when laws passed by Congress weren't clear.

According to an article from the Associated Press, the overturn of Chevron will make it difficult for executive branch agencies to regulate the environment, public health, workplace safety and other issues, including the regulation of food, health products, etc.

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