Organic And Non-Toxic Tampons Brands

6 Organic And Non-Toxic Tampons Brands – Why They Are Worth It (2024)

As a woman, you may use up to 16,000 tampons in your lifetime. Unfortunately, recent studies have highlighted the concerning presence of harmful chemicals in tampons, including dioxin, furan, pesticides, and phthalates. These chemicals come into contact with some of the most absorptive skin on our bodies and raise concerns about their potential impact on our health. 

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best non-toxic tampons available, so you can make an informed decision for your health.

If you love non-toxic products, check out our articles about Fluoride-Free Toothpastes, Non-Toxic Cookware, or Clean Beauty.

The Conscious Insider is reader-supported. When you buy something we recommend, we might earn an affiliate commission at no extra charge for you.

This article will specifically address the issue of harmful chemicals in tampons, an area of growing concern in health discussions. We do not discuss the Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

Organic And Non-Toxic Tampons Brands

Do Tampons Have Harmful Chemicals?

Composition of A Tampon


Period protection products, such as tampons and pads, are typically composed of the following materials:

  • Cotton: This is a common component. Note that cotton production is among the most polluting agricultural practices globally. This is largely due to the excessive use of pesticides in its farming.
  • Absorbent Agents: These often consist of a blend of viscose and cellulose (derived from trees). After being processed, the naturally brown cellulose is further treated with chemicals to achieve a whiter appearance. Among these chemicals, chlorine dioxide stands out as particularly harmful, posing risks of carcinogenic effects.
  • Bleaching Agents: These are used to whiten the products and make them appear cleaner and more marketable. The bleaching process can be done through natural methods, like oxygenation, or using chemicals like chlorine. Notably, chlorine bleaching can produce harmful byproducts like dioxins and furans.

The use of these materials raises significant health concerns. The hazardous ingredients in tampons, such as dioxins, furans (from chlorine bleaching), pesticide residues, and unspecified fragrance chemicals, can potentially lead to cancer, reproductive issues, endocrine disruption, and allergic reactions.

What The Testings Say


Recent investigations have raised concerns about the safety of sanitary tampons. Chemist Bernard Tailliez’s independent tests revealed that 20 to 30 different chemical components, including phthalates and pesticides like glyphosate, are present in these products. Most of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors and have been linked to female fertility issues. 

Dr. Carmen Messerlian is currently conducting research to explore the potential connection between the high concentration of phthalates in sanitary tampons and the global increase in fertility problems.

Additionally, a consumer protection agency reported that its testing center found toxic residues in five out of eleven sanitary product brands analyzed. Traces of industrial pollutants like dioxins were detected in O.B and Nett brand products.

Furthermore, five new studies conducted in the past two years have specifically investigated the presence of phthalates in menstrual products. These studies, encompassing products from various countries, unanimously found that phthalates (including DEP, DEHP, DBP, DIBP) were prevalent, detected in over 90% of the samples. 

Notably, a recent U.S. study found that every tested sample (43 pads, panty liners, and tampons) contained multiple phthalates.

Organic And Non-Toxic Tampons Brands

What Are The Potential Effects On Your Health?


The use of certain chemicals in menstrual products poses various health risks. These products, which come into contact with the highly absorbent mucous membranes of the vaginal area, often contain carcinogens, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, and allergens. The health concerns associated with these exposures include cancer, reproductive issues, endocrine disruption, and allergic reactions.

Philip Tierno, a professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University, notes that while the level of dioxin in tampons is lower now than in the past due to changes in bleaching methods, it is still present. He emphasizes that the cumulative effect of dioxin exposure over a lifetime of tampon use could potentially increase the risk of disease.

Dr. Jean-Marc Bohbot, an infectious disease specialist and medical director at the Institut Fournier in Paris, expresses concerns about low detected levels of these chemicals. He points out that low levels do not guarantee safety. Due to the selective permeability of the vagina, and the lack of comprehensive studies on the systemic absorption of each substance from the vagina, definitive conclusions cannot be drawn.

Currently, there’s a lack of scientific data to adequately assess the risk posed by these chemicals.

Are Organic Tampons Actually Better For You?

Made from organic cotton that is free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals, these tampons offer a significant advantage over conventional ones. The absence of synthetic chemicals and pesticides in the cotton cultivation process not only reduces the risk of exposure to these harmful substances but also contributes to a healthier environment.

Moreover, organic tampons are often biodegradable, making them a more sustainable choice. Unlike traditional tampons that may contain plastics and synthetic fibers, organic ones break down more easily, reducing landfill waste and environmental pollution.

In summary, organic tampons offer a trifecta of benefits: they are chemical and pesticide-free, better for the environment due to their biodegradability, and potentially safer for the user.

What Are The Best And Safest Tampons To Use?

Current legislation does not mandate brands to list the ingredients used in tampons. Sarada Tangirala, from Women’s Voices for the Earth, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing exposure to harmful chemicals, highlights the need for greater transparency in the labeling of tampons. 

She explains that unlike cosmetics and other personal care products, tampons are classified as “medical devices” by the FDA. This classification exempts them from the ingredient labeling requirements that apply to other products. 

As a result, consumers are unable to identify potential allergens or chemicals linked to cancer and other forms of toxicity in these products, even if they wish to avoid them. Tangirala advocates for a change in this policy to better inform and protect consumers.

To minimize exposure to potentially harmful substances, women are advised to select tampons with care. Sarada Tangirala and other experts recommend avoiding all fragranced products, including not only tampons but also vaginal douches and powders, as fragrance can often contain undisclosed chemicals. 

A key strategy for finding safer tampons is to choose products from companies that are transparent about their ingredients. Opting for brands that openly list what goes into their products can provide a greater assurance of safety.

5 Steps To Avoid Harmful Ingredients In Tampons

  • 1. Choose unscented products when available

  • 2. Choose chlorine-free bleach or unbleached tampons

  • 3. Choose plastic-free packaging as plastic wrapping can contain BPA

  • 4. Buy organic cotton tampon when you can to avoid pesticide residues 

  • 5. Look for the certifications GOTS (organic cotton), Made Safe and EWG (for non-toxic products) on the product you are buying

Which Tampons To Stay Away From?

For those looking to make informed decisions about menstrual care products, it’s important to be aware of certain tampons that might pose health risks. A useful resource in this regard is the “Hall of Shame” list curated by Women’s Voices for the Earth. This list details specific brands and products that have raised concerns due to their composition or manufacturing practices.

Read the list here.

6 Organic & Non-Toxic Tampons Brands 

1. August

Non-toxic | 100% organic cotton. Free of pesticides, herbicides, fragrances, polyester, rayon, deodorants, dioxins, dyes, chemicals.

Features – Certifications | GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, FDA approved 

Applicators Option | with applicators

Price | $5.5 for 8 units

Customers Review |Love the package design. Using these products make me feel safe about what I am putting in my body. I just wish there was more than 8 tampons in the box.” Iman

Best Non-Toxic Tampons

2. Public Goods

Best Non-Toxic Tampons

Non-toxic | Free from BPA, chlorine, pesticide, and rayon

Features – Certifications | Made from organic cotton

Applicators Option | with applicators

Price | $6.95 for 18  units

Customers Review |Definitely holds up and worth the money. It’s safe for the environment and works better than regular store bought tampons in my experience. Love these” Courtney

3. Grace & Green

Non-toxic | Free from Fragrances, Dyes, Deodorants, or Rayon, or chlorine bleaching, pesticides

Features – Certifications | GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, cruelty-free, vegan, hypoallergenic with a neutral PH

Applicators Option | with and without applicators

Price | $5.91 for 24 units

Customers Review |All period products need to be like this. Really excited to have found this plastic free, compostable alternative, including a paper wrapper. Fantastic product!” Liane

Best Non-Toxic Tampons

4. Sustain  

Best Non-Toxic Tampons

Non-toxic | 100% Certified Organic Cotton. Free from Chlorine Bleach, Rayon, Dyes, Fragrances or Synthetic Superabsorbents.

Features – Certifications | B Corp certified, bio-plastic applicator

Applicators Option | with applicators

Price | $6.99 for 16 units

Customers Review |The applicator is so easy to grip! It’s very smooth and it’s made out of 90% sugarcane (extra points for being more environmentally friendly). The tampon itself is also very absorbent. I also love how they packaged them so it’s not obvious that it’s a tampon.” Andrea

5. Tampon Tribes

Non-toxic | 100% certified organic cotton, free from toxin, chlorine, dioxin, perfume and plastic

Features – Certifications | GOTS certified organic cotton, compostable, hypoallergenic

Applicators Option | with applicators

Price | $9.5 for 16 units

Customers Review |These are great and they’re identical to the organic ones I buy at the pharmacy. You have to rotate the applicator a bit to click it into place for it to push the tampon out, but as long as you figure that bit out they’re super easy to use and are the only cardboard applicator I’ve found that’s actually comfortable to use!” Billyedonia

Best Non-Toxic Tampons

6. Natracare

Best Non-Toxic Tampons

Non-toxic | Chlorine free, organic cotton

Features – Certifications |  GOTS certified organic cotton, Vegan certified, Compostable Cardboard Applicator

Applicators Option | with applicators

Price | $9.98 for 16 units

Customers Review | I’ve been switching my feminine care products out the last year for organic options. I’ve discovered even organic options can sometimes have problematic ingredients, but this brand seems to be one of the best options. Packaging is plastic-free. Cardboard applicators don’t always work as well as plastic, but the trade-off is worth it. I feel these still work well absorbency-wise.

References

  • https://time.com/4422774/tampons-toxic-cancer/

  • https://womensvoices.org/menstrual-care-products/

  • https://www.periodlaw.org/issues/

  • https://ouest94.ufcquechoisir.fr/2017/05/29/utiliser-des-protections-hygieniques-nest-pas-sans-risques/

  • https://www.60millions-mag.com/2016/02/23/tampons-et-protections-feminines-une-reglementation-s-impose-10151


All credit pictures belong to respective brands. Prices are the ones at the time of the article publication.

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