Are You Using Moldy Tampons?

Woman finds mold on her tampon; Kotex says no big deal

There are certain things that you take for granted in this world. For instance, you assume that the tampon that you’re using is clean, somewhat sterile and, oh, I don’t know, not riddled with mold.

Turns out, that is just a ridiculous thing for you to believe. Danielle Parr, a 23-year-old stay-at-home mom in Saginaw, Tex., found this out the uber-gross way: When she went to insert a Kotex tampon and it popped out of its applicator. Underneath that pink plastic shell, the tampon was covered in green and black mold.

Horrified, Parr emailed the company, sending along these putrid pictures to demonstrate just how dire the situation was.

The good news is Kotex responded immediately. The bad news is instead of apologies and a sense of corporate mortification, Kotex basically told Parr that it happens all the time. But not to worry, when they found mold on previous occasions, they tested it and found that it’s no different from the mold you find on baked goods or vegetables. (To show there were no hard feelings, Kotex sent Parr some coupons so she could go ahead and get some more of their tampons).

I think it’s safe to say that isn't a great comparison. The general reaction is not, “Hey, look, there’s mold on my bread. Can you pass the peanut butter?” We throw it away, rather than stuffing it into our pie hole.

And that's what we're supposed to do. The USDA recommends discarding food riddled with mold. “When you see moldy food, don't sniff the moldy item. This can cause respiratory trouble. If food is covered with mold, discard it. Put it into a small paper bag or wrap it in plastic and dispose in a covered trashcan that children and animals can't get into. Clean the refrigerator or pantry at the spot where the food was stored.”

So why Kotex would think it’s okay to shove a moldy tampon into a dark, warm place where mold can thrive is kind of beyond our comprehension.

Parr says she won’t be buying Kotex again any time soon. I know I will be switching to the applicator-less O.B. so I don't accidentally insert mold where it just doesn't belong.

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