Published on March 29th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria1
Moldy Tampon Blog Post Sends Vaginas of Blogosphere into Spasms of Terror
If you’re one of the roughly half of humans without a vagina (just kidding, we know there are no girls on the internet), the first thing you must understand about the moldy tampon story is that from when women learn exactly what horrifying function tampons serve (wait, I have to shove that bit of sandpapery cotton up my hoo-ha? Does the cardboard not pinch- OW!), it is drilled into us that we must not in any way introduce bacteria into the whole tampon-ish region lest we die of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
In the 70’s, a certain type of now-defunct tampon was manufactured with a rayon string, and women all over succumbed to the ailment. Even now, we’re all kind of a little paranoid about sleeping while using tampons, because of the risk of dropping dead of Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, in our sleep. Then everyone would nod solemnly when our deaths at an early age were discussed, and we’d forever be known as the woman killed by a tampon. So it’s kind of surprising that no one has discussed Toxic Shock Syndrome at all when talking about the moldy tampon.
Apparently, a woman pulled out a Kotex brand tampon earlier this month (from the wrapper, not her vagina), only to discover that it was covered in black mold spots on the actual cotton. Kotex responded to her email query, saying that the mold presented no danger:
“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.”
According to Consumerist, it was at this point that the post went viral, and Kotex got wind of the attention. The company then reached out to the blogger, letting her know that moldy tampons (even more scarily, the mold was behind the applicator, which isn’t a place most of us see pre-insertion) are “extremely rare,” and asking for the affected tampon in order to test it.
It is not known whether the moldy tampon has yet been tested, but Consumerist anecdotally indicates a “friend” of the blogger who picked up the post on their blog has also encountered moldy tampons. Ew.