Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The tale of the moldy tampon.

Um. Holy...wow. 

Has anyone else ever had this happen before?

I just found a MOLDY TAMPON in a brand new box of Kotex Tampons. Yeah, you read that right - moldy. Straight out of the box, in it's sealed little packaging ... moldy. Bad moldy.

See for yourself!



Can you even BELIEVE THAT???  I am horrified!

And to think, if I hadn't accidentally popped half the tampon out of the applicator while I was getting it out of the packaging, I would have NEVER KNOWN. I am freaked right out! Makes you wonder how many times things like this happen to tampons and we don't have a clue.

Needless to say, Kotex is about to get an earful. UGGGHHHHH! So freaking gross!



UPDATE :

I decided to email Kotex because I felt the pictures were an important part of my story. A phone call couldn't accurately describe what I found so I decided to email them. I didn't expect to hear back for at least a day or two, but lo and behold, they've already responded. Just wait to see what they have to say! =/


Dear Danielle,

Thanks for contacting us about your experience with KOTEX® SECURITY® tampons.  We are very sorry that you were disappointed with your recent purchase of our product.

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.

You can be confident that we are diligently reviewing our manufacturing process to ensure this problem does not recur.  Because our customers and their well-being are very important to us, we want to assure you that the quality and safety of our products are our top priorities.  We apply very rigorous procedures to our products to ensure that they are safe for their intended use.

With the hope that you will continue to use SECURITY tampons with confidence, we are sending you some coupons through the mail for your use on future purchases.


Betty
Consumer Services, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Lead the world in essentials for a better life.

016750187A




Yeah, that's real reassuring. I was grossed out in the first place and their response just makes it worse!  Seems this is a fairly common problem ... and that is a cause for serious concern. I doubt most people get as lucky as I did - I just so happened to accidentally expose the mold and I am so glad that I did! Most people wouldn't be so  fortunate.

Thanks for the coupons, Kotex, but I can confidently say I'll never be purchasing any of your products ever  again.

200 comments:

  1. Oh, that is SO, SO gross! I'll be checking every single one of mine from now on. :(

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  2. Whaaaaaat? Disgusting! As is their response!

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  3. THAT was truly gross, the mold yes, but even more so their response!!! Just a suggestion, I switched to soft cups ( they are a disposable version of diva cups) I wanted to try before i laid out the cost of a diva cup, well I am a convert no way will I go back to tampons/pads ever!!!

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    Replies
    1. I use the soft cups as well, amazing products and you'll never find mold (or anything else icky for that matter) with them. Wow, I am incredibly thankful to not use tampons.

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  4. Absolutely horrifying. Adding this to the list of reasons I use a diva cup.

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  5. Two words...Diva cup!

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  6. Omg. I'm so glad I've switched to reusable products!! I can't believe they didnt think it was an issue. I want to meet the woman who would NOT have a problem using that tampon, because that's incredibly disgusting! How can it NOT be a health concern. Maybe take it to your gynecologist and have them write a little email! Ew!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I agree this is gross. But you made me giggle with the I would love to meet a woman that would willingly use a moldy tampon the homeless people prop wouldn't care. And have you seen the show about people who dumpster dive for a living not because they have to but because they want to! They would prob use it too. GROSS!

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  7. Yeah, cups are MUCH safer than these cotton balls trapped in plastic. Tampons aren't hygienic. They're just white - if you're lucky.

    Just be careful ladies : there is more than just the Diva Cup (trade mark) out there, and it's actually the longest cup on the market... Cups (including the Diva) are also cheaper when you order them online. Come have a look on the Live Journal menstrual cups community !

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  8. Diva Cup and cloth (washable) pads.

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  9. This is nasty. If you don't use moldy foods, why would you use A moldy tampon. Yuck

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  10. I think it is time we all stop using these ever-so popular chemical pads and tampons. I have not tried a Diva Cup, but hear raving reviews. I am a huge fan of cloth Mama pads. The comfort is perfect and absorbency just the same as your choice of pad. I will never return to plastic / weave. Do your reasearch and treat your body as #1! :)

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  11. Maybe it's just me, but we don't ever eat moldy food, even though I imagine your stomach acid would render it harmless. I most certainly would not use a moldy tampon. Foward your email, with their response, to the FDA and major news channels. Call for a boycott of Kotex. Hitting them in the pocketbook is the only place it hurts.

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  12. Sounds to me like this isn't the first that they have heard of this, since they have run tests on the mold. That is horrible. I'm sorry but because it grows on vegetables doesn't make it okay to be in your body.

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  13. That would be why I'm a mama cloth user. I'd say switch to the Diva Cup.

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  14. That would be why I'm a mama cloth user. I'd say switch to the Diva Cup.

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    Replies
    1. What is a diva cup? ?

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    2. A brand of menstrual cup, here's their website: http://www.divacup.com/

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  15. To be fair, while their response says the mold is one that is not particularly hazardous to your health, nowhere do they suggest or imply you should still use the tampon. Informing you that it's a "safe" mold is in fact reassuring, given that many molds can cause dangerous reactions simply from inhaling the spores. Nowhere do they tell you to put the moldy tampon inside your vagina. Still yucky and must have been awful to find, though :(

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    Replies
    1. I'm severely allergic to mold so it would give me life threatening asthma and swell my 'stuff' shut for 2mo. Dangerous.

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    2. I'm also allergic to a wide variety of molds... but even still not every single kind.

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    3. yes they don't tell you to insert that tampon, but they do tell you to continue to use their product with which this doesn't seem to be an uncommon occurrence.

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  16. This is why I use mama cloth!!

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  17. THIS is just another reason I'm glad I switched to reusables! I use a menstrual cup & cloth menstrual pads and have never been happier & will never EVER look back!
    http://www.ecomenses.com/

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  18. I bought a Diva cup a few months before we left for South Korea. I had heard that the tampons they have over there (while the same brands we're used to here) are usually scented. I'm sensitive to scented tampons and get really irritated if I use them so I decided to invest in a Diva Cup. Best investment I ever made. I will NEVER go back to tampons. I don't leak, it's easy to put in and take out, it's comfortable, it doesn't dry me up like tampons usually do, and I don't have to worry about toxic shock syndrome. I would recommend a cup to anyone because they are AWESOME!

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  19. I am very...very disturbed!!

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  20. It certainly does make you think twice about what you put inside your body. This is just a breeding ground for Toxic Shock Syndrome. I haven't used a disposable product for nearly 5 years.
    Switch to menstrual cups and cloth pads. Sorted. http://www.femininewear.co.uk/

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  21. Oh my goodness! Definitely switching to cloth now.

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  22. Wow. I really have no words for Kotex. I had issues with all the strings breaking off and they didn't seem to think it was a problem that a few coupons wouldn't solve.

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  23. i'm jealous you live in texas! i'm a stay at home mamma too and this moldy tampon was a shock to see but then again not a surprise because your neighbor in texas Doug Kaufmann and my mentor has taught and is teaching me thru his 11 year old running tv show that mold/fungus/yeast is totally overlooked as a cause for disease in america! this info is a big nugget and i thought i would share it with you and get you hooked like me! I wish I could live in texas so I could volunteer my time to his cause! he is awesome! knowthecause.com is where it's at! i'm gonna take a wild guess and blame mold for being the cause of toxic shock!!

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  24. I can imagine how horrifying this would have been for you, as I've had similar experiences with defective products before, and gotten MUCH LESS caring responses.

    Kotex responded promptly, with apologetic language, and offered amends. What else would you have expected of them?

    The reality is, despite our consumer culture's obsession with hyper-cleanliness, no mass-manufacturing facility can provide (on a cost-effective basis) 100% consistently sterile product, and even if they could, the shipping and handling of distribution means that sometimes these things happen, most of the time (but not always) contaminated products were contaminated AFTER they left the plant (which is why a wise shopper doesn't buy consumables at the dollar store, for example). Blame the reality of mass production and distribution, not Kotex. I think their response was satisfactory.

    You are far more at risk of getting TSS from tampons, which is caused by Staph Aureus, which is everywhere around us in our environment, rendering EVERY tampon a potential health risk (I agree that cups and cloth pads are great alternatives to further lower TSS risk).

    Yes, you should check everything you put in your body carefully, AND wash your hands.

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  25. Another reason why I am SO glad I use OB! I am allergic to mold, so that could have been a bad situation. :/

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  26. You should try the Mooncup. (Called an MCUK for us in the states. I've had mine for a few months and it is by far more handy, cost effective and more sanitary than those tampons. It is awesome! That tampon... one word... gag.

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  27. The problem, as the blogger here pointed out, is that you can't see the condition of a tampon until it is pushed through the applicator, and once it is, you lose the convenience of that applicator. If you still prefer tampons, I would say that ob would be the best bet because you can at least see the tampon--it's not hidden by an applicator. Blaming Kotex is pointless, because this kind of accident or oversight can happen in any factory. I use a Diva cup, for many reasons (eco-friendly, no fibers left behind in my body, etc.) AND I do know how clean my Diva cup is whenever I use it.

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  28. I will admit that I've been on the fence about reusable menstrual products. I just couldn't wrap my mind around it, but after this post I may have to switch!! Thanks for sharing, even though I would find that to be super traumatic.

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  29. I like that they did not apologize for causing you concern - they apologized for your concern. That's kinda like apologizing that someone got angry because of something you said. Not a real apology.

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  30. I, also, have been using a Diva cup for over 2 years now. I started because of the environmental impact feminine hygiene products have on the environment. Don't be fooled into thinking they are biodegradable even if they are advertised as such (the word "biodegradable" can be applied to a product even if only 1% of the product degrades while the other 99% remain intact).

    I will NEVER go back to tampons and your experience is just one more reason why not.

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  31. haha, I was a little repetitive there: "...the environmental impact feminine hygiene products have on the environment."

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  32. My question is why would a tampon be moist enough to have mold? That is so disgusting, so is Kotex's response! I have never been a tampon user and am now thankful for that. At my next GYN apt, I will talk to her about a feminine menstrual cup. Oh my stomach still flips to think about this... ugh.

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  33. Just going to throw this out there....penicillin an antibiotic that most of us ingest (and are perfectly okay with) is a mold...in fact it was discovered as the mold growing on a petri dish. And I'm sure you are okay with that mold....

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    Replies
    1. This must be a male. ;)

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  34. They are "sorry for your concern" not sorry for the mold. Nice. They are sorry that you cared to complain.

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  35. that is just awful. Once I was eating salsa out of the jar. a couple days later the salsa was so low in the jar I had to pour it in a bowl. I heard a loud klink!.. it was a large piece of medal from a machine. I called the company and they started to say things like I put it in there. and nothing is wrong with their machinery. I was young and stupid I should have looked deeper into it. because tetnas and other things could have been a factor due to this.

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  36. Ewwwww!!!! Glad I use a diva cup!!

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  37. Oh yuck!!! I would have expected more of an apology from their letter. I would be thoroughly disgusted. When you buy a box of new tampons, you expect them to be clean...end of story.

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  38. Ewwwww....I will never buy Kotex again!!! YUCK!!!

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  39. OMG...YUK!!!
    I do not really believe them that it is not a health and safety issue...
    possibility that they are just attempting to cover their ass and hoping the consumer will just go away. I myself would send the story, picture and the companies response to, at least, the local news media.
    Anyone remember the "toxic shock syndrome" incident(s)? Wonder if there could be any connection? At least one girl lost her fingers because of that...Any way GROSS. And how dare they dismiss the issue as if no big deal. MUST HAPPEN OFTEN!!!

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  40. Ohh that is beyond horrifying!! To think I was a tampon user for years!! Ugh...

    Just FYI - the leap to reusable is NOT that big of a jump!! It's fantastic, and you'll never look back!! I use the Diva Cup since I was a tampon wearer and loved it. I just got some LunPads though, for during pregnancy and postpartum and I am doing a review and GiveAway on my blog in about two weeks. The gift certificate is $50 - more than enough to get your own DivaCup or cloth pad stash!!

    In fact - do you mind if I link to this article when I do the Review and Give Away?? This just blows my mind!!

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    Replies
    1. Wow gross, but the cup and cloth pads sound just as gross. Sorry but blood is one area I don't use reusable. Nasty. Doesn't seem very hygienic either. Eww

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    2. Its more hygienic than your blood filled PAPER that contaminates our landfills and washes out to sea. At least the products we use can be sanitized ;)

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    3. I KNOW that my cloth pads have never had mold, rat feces, wood pulp ect ect on them. I very rarely have yeast infections and similiar problems which is something I couldn't say when using disposables. To each her own, but no need to down what others are doing especially if you have no real knowledge on the subject.

      Delete
  41. That's awful! Time to try a new product for sure. You don't eat random mold, why would you put it in your body?

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  42. WOW WOW WOW I AM SO SO SO grossed out!!!! OMG what if you had not caught that?!? OMG how many of us have USED moldy tampons because we just didn't know?!?

    YUK!!

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  43. I'm so sorry you had this experience. It's not common & we take it very seriously. My colleague at Kotex will email you again directly.

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    Replies
    1. What you should have done kotex is refund her money. I use kotex
      Pantyliners daily and tampons only when swimming but always infinity pads can't be beat in absorbancy. I'm done with using kotex switching to always everything! eww so nasty!

      Delete
    2. I have a ton of Kotex tampons up for grabs if anyone wants vegetative mold in their woman parts.

      Delete
    3. Nice try Kotex, but too little too late IMO. So glad I stopped using your products years ago. Cloth rocks!

      Delete
  44. I am horrified and disgusted. The fact that the company glossed over the problem, and tried to bribe you with coupons is even worse. Not only are these products an environmental issue, but a health issue now. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

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  45. I like that in their response they say it's the same kind of mold found on veggies. Because, if you found mold on your veggies, you'd just eat it, right? Hehehe, such a horrible response!

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  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  47. Came here from the lunapads Facebook sharing of your post and I'm another one of the plugged Diva Cup lovers. Best money I ever spent to never spend money on tampons & pads (both with and without mold) and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat!

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  48. OK, I'm going to recommend you do a couple of things:

    1) Email Barb over at Snopes.com. This is exactly the kind of thing people will assume is just an urban legend ("Did you hear you can find moldy tampons from the store?) and make sure you copy your email thread to her).

    2) Contact someone from Planned Parenthood (corporate) or other pro-women organization... what I'm really curious about is whether inserting a moldy piece of absorbent material has any adverse affects, because based on the reply you got from the company, it's apparently fine. Most women don't inspect a fresh tampon that comes inside an inserting tube.

    The thing is, normally this type of thing would make the "Consumer Watchdog" segment of the local TV news, except that because it's a tampon, they won't want to air this during the family viewing period. You might actually do better to contact CNN or someone.

    And actually... I'd actually encourage you to put a little video together... show the photo (I don't know if you still have the tampon; if you do that's best), and just show the item in the video, talk about your email to them, and then read the reply. I'd send this as an iReport to CNN, *AND* I would also upload this to YouTube. Put a link to it here, and CLOSE COMMENTS for the video there (because you're gonna get a lot of nasty messages), and have them come here to post (moderated) comments.

    This is really horrendous.

    It's worse than the corporate office seems to think this is NORMAL.

    Consumers need to know this.

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    Replies
    1. Planned Parenthood is not a pro-woman organization.

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    2. How do you figure PP isn't pro woman? Good advice Lani.

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  49. I would LOVE to know what the Next email from kotex says

    "Anonymous Kotex said...

    I'm so sorry you had this experience. It's not common & we take it very seriously. My colleague at Kotex will email you again directly."

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  50. OMGAWD That is so nasty, EEsh they did not seem to be worried at all which makes it BAD! I never use then ,but if I did I KNOW I would stop!

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  51. OMGAWD That is so nasty, EEsh they did not seem to be worried at all which makes it BAD! I never use then ,but if I did I KNOW I would stop!

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  52. It's gmo cotton too which is like inserting a splinter...this is a horrible story. Thank god I stopped using tampons years ago, yuk

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  53. DH was beside himself .
    Ohg Welcome to The Lone Star State...I'm in North Texas ;)
    Blessings Renee'

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  54. If you have an allergy to mold like I do, then 'YES', it can really cause health problems! Glad I don't need them anymore. All that ended when I was 39. ;) Stay with pads ladies.

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  55. Wow wow wow. SO GROSS!!! I had a small stockpile of toilet tissue under my sink once years ago. All my packages of angel soft went moldy but NONE of the other brands did!!! There was no leak or other sign of excessive moisture under there. I haven't bought angel soft since!!!

    Your post makes me glad that I, too, have switched to cloth!!!

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  56. I'm not saying that you should keep using their products, but it seems to me that their response was about as good as you could reasonably expect. They were prompt, professional, and offered some kind of (small) compensation. How does that make anything worse? What type of response would have made the disturbing discovery any better?

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  57. That is positively DISGUSTING and their response is in no way reassuring! "Oh great, it's ONLY vegetative mold!" Really!?

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  58. This is something that goes inside your body. Regardless if it harmful or not they should have been on top of this. Some one could be allergic to that mold and that case it would not be harmless to them. Kotex is a big company and they have the money to do a bit more than send some coupons and a simple letter. The letter try's belittle the fact that their is MOLD on something that goes inside you, yes i know as everyday consumers we do unknowingly put gross things in our body but it's one thing to do not knowing and a whole another thing to seeing it...

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  59. I have never understand what those applicators are supposed to be good for in the first place?! Adding to the garbage pile?!
    NEVER had any problems with my OB's and would never use anything else anyway...

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    Replies
    1. This is what I'm thinking. I started using OB almost from the start (about 20 years ago) and the one time I couldn't find OB at the store and had to buy an applicator brand I took the tampon out of the applicator to use it. I don't understand why people want to use the applicator! On another note, I have been using a Diva cup for a few years now.

      Delete
  60. Just wow. I'm extremely allergic to mold, and would hate to think what would happen if I somehow ended up using a moldy tampon. I'm never buying tampons again, this was the final push I needed to switch to a cup and cloth. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  61. SICK! I have never used Kotex and I sure as heck never will!

    I tried the "amazing" diva cup and let me tell you... save your money! That thing was a mess and a nightmare! I used it for about 6 times and.... yeah. No thanks. Tampons all the way!

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  62. Wow. I am also very highly allergic to mold and mildew, and it is very likely that exposure to that mold would have sent me straight to the hospital, or worse.

    I use Tampax brand, but my daughter has been using Kotex. Not anymore. I'm spreading this like wildfire.

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  63. That is simply disgusting and horrifying! I use that brand all the time, but not anymore! I am so grossed out by the fact that this could have been...ew.............I'm buying a Diva Cup at Whole Foods TOMORROW. I am NEVER using another tampon!!!! Thank you for posting this.

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  64. I just shared this on my Facebook and Twitter. Share this story, ladies!

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  65. I am going to throw out every tampon I own. I was considering switching to mama cloth and this seals the deal.

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  66. I think, first of all, that is incredibly disgusting. I also think that there is a ton you can do about it. A petition on change.org for kotex to pull that product from shelves would be a start. Contacting the media would be helpful, and I think social media will be a very helpful tool, it seems that a lot of the people commenting have found this post through facebook or other various blogs. I will repost and I hope others I know will as well.

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  67. You're right... not so uncommon. And I don't believe the response when it says it has no adverse affects. Read this:
    http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/15/kotex-tampons-recalled-over-bacterial-contamination/

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  68. Well, playing Devil's advocate for a second here....how do you know you haven't used a moldy one in the past, and are no worse for the wear?? BUT, that being said.....GROSS!! That is why I trust Tampax Pearls...all the way!

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  69. so glad i use 'ob' in the rare event of when i do use a tampon.

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  70. Anyone else notice the page counter just ticking away?

    This is really disgusting. And it's not that their response was unprofessional, it's that it offered no solution. How about CLEAR applicators?

    I'm with the rest of you diva cup gals. Once you get the hang of it, it's no messier than a tampon. Actually, it's less messy, because they don't leak often. And you can't even feel reusable cups at all. Reusable cups can be sanitized, save you money, don't cause TSS, don't leave nasty fibers, chemicals, or MOLD in your body, don't fill landfills, help to reduce cramping... The list goes on. Why spend a week of every month uncomfortable? The diva cup has literally changed the way that I feel during my period.

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  71. I am in shock (As I am sure you are in a BIG way!) I have no words other than: YUCK!!! and when my cycle resumes (I am breastfeeding) I WILL NOT be using Kotex. I may consider cloth options as I have loved cloth-diapering my son. I am so reposting this on fb!

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  72. That is hideous. Their response? Even more so. I switched to the DivaCup in October of 2010, and have no regrets. What's funny is that I just pulled out a box of half-used tampons and figured I'd go ahead and use them up, but after reading this post - and their lame-ass response basically OKing the presence of disgusting, toxic mold on tampons - I think I will just chuck them!

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  73. Looks like they *just* had a recall on these same ones for contamination issues...http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Kot3x-tampons-recalled--133829858.html

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  74. This makes me even more grateful that I am older and have gone through menopause. No more use for this type of product thankfully!

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  75. I will be promptly switching to OB tampons. That is just gross and I'm not taking any chances. Sorry Kotex, you just lost a customer.

    Thank you for posting this.

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  76. I would try and get a small settlement for something like this.

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  77. *shudder* that's too revolting for words! Scary to think there is a possibility of that lurking inside an applicator tube.

    And yes, not many people are going to look inside an applicator, so it makes you wonder how many tampons are used that have some sort of nasty on them (be that mould or something else).

    Blergh!

    If you're interested in making the switch to reusables, do a little research and see what is out there - Diva cup isn't the only cup brand (Lunette is my personal favourite) and you'll often find cloth pads much cheaper if you go with smaller home-based businesses.

    While reusables might seem gross, think about this - do you throw out any underwear or sheets that get blood on them, or do you wash them and use them again? It's the same with reusable pads :)

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  78. That is the most disgusting thing ever and so was Kotex's response. Are coupons really going to solve that problem?

    That is why I will never use any disposable product and only by my reusables from an Etsy seller (Lil Boppers)because their pads are great.

    Not only I am protecting my body but I'm saving money & helping the environment

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  79. Wow, not even a simple apology or a refund! That is completely disgusting and unsanitary. The explanation she gave you was a bunch of bullsh*t. Never again will I buy another box! I agree with Betty on having your OBGYN send them a letter to educate them on how unsanitary & ridiculous their suggestion in their response to your email was.

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  80. I am infinitely glad that my birth control has pretty much reduced my periods to nothing / that I've never used a tampon in my life. That sounds so, SO nasty eeeewww.

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    Replies
    1. I love how they dismiss it as vegetative mold that you'll find on vegetables or baked goods anyway. I don't know about the folks at Kotex, but when I find mold on my food, I throw it out. I don't shove it up my vagina.
      Although, considering all the other nastiness that goes into the manufacture of tampons - heavily pesticide-treated cotton, bleaching agents, dioxin and the like - not to mention the huge negative environmental impact - rusty mold probably IS the healthiest part of their tampons.

      Definitely consider a reusable menstrual cup.

      Delete
  81. I would be suing!!!! Just sayin... would not be using that brand... glad im pregnant but still not using them

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  82. I can't use the soft cups till my second or third day in, I have never used kotex brand and thanks to this I never will. This is so gross! The response definitely doesn't help at all, mold in any form isn't safe, especially not going up there. I use Tampax Pearl! Those are much more comfortable and I look before putting it in and none of them have had this problem, I've been using them for 4 years now.

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  83. Nickey - that recall was posted back in Nov 2011.

    Reading this story was enlightening. I usually prefer OB but I do use applicators as well. Thanks to all the Ladies talking about the DivaCup. I had never read of them before. Doing some research now, and I'm strongly considering switching to the cup!!

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  84. So gross! I cant believe how the company just kind of shrugged there shoulders like it is nothing! We had a similar situation with cloverleaf canned meat. My mom found worms.. no lie... in a sealed can. They basically told her she was lying and sent her some coupons. Ya like you ever want to eat there products again!

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  85. A diva cup aka a period bowl? No thanks, hippies.

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    Replies
    1. Lol I may be a hippie, but at least I don't have a moody _____.

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  86. hi... hope you don't mind that i share this entry in my blog. thanks!

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  87. Time to contact the media!!!!!

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  88. Ugh, how does that happen? Has it happened to anybody else? Somebody (other than Kotex) really needs to look into that!

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  89. It concerns me that it seems like this is not an unusual problem. I don't care what kind of mold it is- this is NOT okay! I'm sorry this happened to you.

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  90. It concerns me that it seems like this is not an unusual problem. I don't care what kind of mold it is- this is NOT okay! I'm sorry this happened to you.

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  91. The ob brand of tampons has a clear applicator so you're able to see why your putting into you're body. =)

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  92. You should send this story to the Consumerist and get the word out!!!
    http://consumerist.com/

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  93. That's why I use organic tampons. Another safe alternative is Instead Softcups (an alternative to pads & tampons).

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  94. EEEEWWWWW! I'll never go back to tampons, that is for sure! I have tried the Diva cup and it is okay, but I have a Moon Cup now, and like it better. And bonus...the Moon Cup comes in different colors. ;-)

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  95. I always check mine but then again I have problems with the stupid applaucader. And 9/10 I end up doing this same thing.

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  96. Um, thats absolutely disgusting. You should look into a Diva Cup! I started using one last August and I'll never turn back to tampons again. Especially after seeing this. Makes me sick to my stomach.

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  97. As someone with sensitivities to mold and a penicillin allergy (and penicillin, ya know, is derived from mold), this has definitely solidified my decision to switch to the Diva Cup...

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  98. And this is the kind of crap that made me switch from pads and tampons to the divacup! Much healthier with NONE of those nasty risks and no risks!

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  99. I started using a Diva cup about 4 years ago (I'm in the Navy, you can't flush tampons on the ship) and I will never go back. I got it online for about $30, and supposedly they are good for 10+ years with proper cleaning and maintenance. I buy them for my friends whenever I get a chance (Christmas, Birthday)! Do yourself a favor and switch over!

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  100. i can't believe they basically told you that it "poses no health risk" like that makes it any less gross. uh it's still mold and that doesn't make it any less disturbing from a feminine hygiene product, emphasis on that it's supposed to by HYGIENIC hence the name.

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  101. "we...have found the mold to be a common environmental species that carries no health risk."

    Oh yeah? What if you're allergic to mold, like me. Huh? I'd hate to think what would've happened if I stuck that in my vagina.. It's pads for me!

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  102. Disgusting.
    I use cloth pads, and can highly recommend both those and the diva cup!

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  103. I emailed Kotex to tell them how disgusted I was by the mold and their lack of concern/apology- I also said that if it were me, I would have gone straight to the ER and sued Kotex. And I told them I don't want any coupons! :-P nobody I know will be buying that brand again!

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  104. I am so very glad that I switched to cloth pads and menstrual cups last year! They are so much safer, and way more comfy!

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  105. That is disgusting! I am glad I do not use tampons! I cannot believe their response to this! Seriously!

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  106. Wow... I've used tampons for about half my life now (not usually Kotex). I'm pregnant now (pics are especially nauseating!), so I think I'll be taking the next several months to re-research cups!

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  107. We found a used kotex tampon in our box! they also sent us coupons. I've been using diva cups ever since!!! <3

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  108. This reenforces my decision to buy MCUK (Mooncup in the USA).

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  109. Good job trying to get your 5 minutes of fame!

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  110. Am I the only person that thinks that "mold" looks like Sharpie marker? :/

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  111. I wouldn't doubt it's Sharpie. I mean contacting Dr. Oz, the news, etc...if it was a real issue I don't think that she would try to get on all these shows. I'm sure this is all for pageviews :)

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  112. Exactly what I was thinking.

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  113. Those who know Danielle know that this is DEFINITELY not a hoax! Come on people, who wants to be famous for a moldy tampon??? This is stuff you can't make up!! Kotex's letter back to her makes it VERY clear they've had this issue in the past (hence the reason they've tested the mold and determined that it is "safe") Thank you, Danielle, for being brave enough to share your story!! Now the rest of us will think twice before inserting that applicator...

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  114. Sharpie??! are you freaking kidding me??? If you knew anything about this family they are a very Christian family.. Not all people are crooked or fame whores. Three words. Get a life.

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  115. That is absolutely horrifying. I'm VERY glad now that I don't use tampons.

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  116. Ummmm 5 minutes...... Who wants to be in a TAMPON ad for you 5 mintues of fame you dork!!! A sharpie!!??!!?! Dang you sure called it!! Dang now my secret is out, I wanted to try it too but now I can't!!!! Good grief, she was only trying to make her female friends aware of what she found and the media got a hold of this and contacted her!!!! Why does everyone always have to find a negative in something!! Expecially this embarrassing issue!!!!

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  117. Luckily, I haven't had a period in quite sometime with being pregnant and breastfeeding and all because I would totally be opening every tampon in the box ... This makes me motivated to use some type of reusable system in the future.

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  118. If this issue is so embarrassing, why call Dr. Oz? Why look for ways to get on TV?

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  119. Can you take this to the court?

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  120. If she was in it for fame she would've done this 2 years ago in 2010 when she STARTED her blog. I have known her for several years now and am positive this is NOT a hoax. You can go ahead and continue using kotex but I am switching...

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  121. I've been using The Keeper for a while now and I love it. It's all rubber, easy to clean & reuse, and made in the USA. This tampon picture makes me so happy I switched!

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  122. Where the heck did she say she called Dr. Oz?

    I have known Danielle for at least 10 years now, and I KNOW she would not make up something like this.

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  123. For those of you who are condemning Kotex for this, don't be silly. They didn't really do anything /wrong/. Yes, this is gross. But when you think about it, the tampon was just doing its job.

    HOW did that mold get there? Because the tampon absorbed moisture which then grew mold. Last time I checked, tampons are made specifically for absorbing. The problem here is most likely the shipping process or even the store from which you bought this box of tampons.

    Perhaps Kotex should find a way to seal their tampons more tightly so there is no chance of any moisture getting in, but they certainly aren't a terrible company for this issue alone, especially since they said they are working to find a way to fix the problem.

    Their response was polite and did not at all try to place blame elsewhere. The comment about it being similar to a vegetative mold was just giving you something to compare it to (saying that it's pretty much harmless, so it's not like you could have died, which is probably a pretty big concern with how often people sue one another nowadays).

    They didn't dismiss the fact that finding mold is gross, and they didn't advise that you should use it anyway.

    They weren't trying to say that it was okay because it's only vegetative mold. They were just trying to assure you that while what you found is disgusting and they will try to fix this problem as soon as possible, that your health was never at risk.

    Yes, it's disgusting.

    No, no one wants to have a moldy tampon in their vagina.

    But, in my eyes, Kotex didn't do anything wrong here and those of you who are calling for a boycott of Kotex products need to calm down a little.

    Also, Diva Cups. I don't use tampons just because the idea of them really grosses me out. For people who are severely allergic to mold, I would think that you shouldn't be using a product like a tampon in the first place, but that's at your discretion I suppose.

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  124. She did contact Dr. Oz. It wasn't mentioned on her blog, but the words came out of her mouth. Ask her.

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  125. Absolutely HORRIFYING!! I tell every woman I know about alternatives. I am SO, SO happy I use a Moon Cup (gladrags.com) and reusable pads from Party in My Pants (partypantspads.com)!!! This is DISGUSTING!

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  126. There are so many dangers in using tampons, mold or not. Honestly, why would you want a bloody wad stuck inside your vagina? 1 hour,2 or 10.. It's disgusting!
    Not to mention, your vagina is incredibly vascular ie. "sponge like" think of the chemicals in a tampon, as well as diet/dust from packing & shopping & it's no wonder so many women die from toxic shock or suffer from pid & yeast infections.

    Using tampons is disgusting!

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  127. You are right...this could happen in any big company (not just Kotex) That's what makes it so sickening...it does happen, and it could have happened to me and I would never have been aware of it. I'm not boycotting Kotex because of this...I'm done with tampons for good because of this.

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  128. There are so many dangers in using tampons, mold or not. Honestly, why would you want a bloody wad stuck inside your vagina? 1 hour,2 or 10.. It's disgusting!
    Not to mention, your vagina is incredibly vascular ie. "sponge like" think of the chemicals in a tampon, as well as diet/dust from packing & shopping & it's no wonder so many women die from toxic shock or suffer from pid & yeast infections.

    Using tampons is disgusting!

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  129. THIS is yet another reason I use cloth pads of the diva cup...

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  130. THIS is yet another reason I use cloth pads of the diva cup...

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  131. Anybody else think somebody from Kotex is posting as one of these annonymous posters?? LOL

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  132. Hooray for washable pads and sponges. I haven't purchased a pack of tampons from ANY brand in ages (brand makes no difference, this type of thing can - and will - happen with any of them). And I think I've purchased one pack of disposable pads in the last year or two.

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  133. The OB/GYN on the news story didn't seem to think it was Sharpie :)

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  134. omg all the views this is getting! haha maybe more cloth users will be made from this

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  135. Did you check the rest of the package? Were there more? I'm with the others, use a menstrual cup and/or cloth pads. I've been using Lunette Menstrual cup for years and love it.

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  136. Diva Cup, get one! I can't believe they don't sell them on the shelves or even tell us there are alternatives to tampons/pads! I've had mine for years and wish I'd known about it when I was younger!

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  137. I only use mama cloth half the time, but i will be more often!
    My husband is HIGHLY allergic to mold, and he breaks out in sores on his penis and they get worse after sex. Hes been tested for stds and has talked to doctors and other men about it, never getting any answers... I wonder if that could be part of it?! Disgusting!

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  138. OMG Horrifying, i bet this is why so many end TSS o_0

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  139. Danielle, I posted a comment here already. And after being pissed off for you all day... I wrote about it here.

    http://www.updownandnatural.com/2012/03/if-you-give-a-housewife-some-coupons.html

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  140. I saw the following on a news site: "Kimberly-Clark said it plans on requesting a sample of the tampon so it can determine what the substance is."

    If you are contacted by the company, I suggest that you send the contaminated tampon to an independent lab for testing, NOT Kimberly-Clark! If this is a serious issue, you don't want it buried by biased lab results.

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  141. I wonder if Betty from Customer Services would put that up her vagina. Also, if it's so common we should demand that Kotex make their applicators clear.

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  142. That's completely mind-revolting. I'm so glad I've been using cloth pads for quite a few years. Someday I may switch to a menstrual cup, now that I'm over 30 and don't need to worry about only using the smaller model for a few years and wasting all that money. I've also thought about sea sponge tampons.

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  143. I'm so glad I switched to the Diva Cup last year, though I'm sorry I didn't do it sooner. I knew about the cup for a couple years before trying it.

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  144. Do you know what to do if your Kotex catches fire??? Quickly throw it on the floor and tampon it!!!!

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  145. I posted this from lunapads.com everywhere! I think every women should know about this. I recommend switching, I switched from tampons to Luna Pads 2 years ago and never looked back. I am horrified this could happen! I also wrote about this in my blog http://crystalclearmom84.blogspot.com/?m=1

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  146. Holy CRAP that is gross! And scary to see that you got a FORM LETTER in response. Sheesh.

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  147. So GLAD I made the switch to the Diva Cup~!

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  148. So GLAD I switched to the Diva Cup

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  149. lucky you, i wish i was you and would sue them. you can get good money out of them. take some legal advise, you be glad you did

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  150. You know I just read that the producted was recalled last year because of Concerns over potential bacterial contamination that could cause dangerous infections. Texas was one of the states listed too

    I think the store where you bought it from didnt get the memo, or they just didnt fix the problem.


    http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/kotex-tampon-recall-infection-risk-22621/

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  151. I switched to a DivaCup and reusable pads after giving birth. Years ago I thought it was pretty gross too, but after dealing with cloth diapers for my kid, the reusable pads don't have the same grossness factor anymore. And the DivaCup is awesome! I would have probably researched other cups too, but there was a deal on the DivaCup and I went for it. Best decision I could have made for my periods. I used ob tampons extensively before my pregnancy, and the DivaCup is WAY more comfortable!

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  152. I switched to a DivaCup and reusable pads after giving birth. Years ago I thought it was pretty gross too, but after dealing with cloth diapers for my kid, the reusable pads don't have the same grossness factor anymore. And the DivaCup is awesome! I would have probably researched other cups too, but there was a deal on the DivaCup and I went for it. Best decision I could have made for my periods. I used ob tampons extensively before my pregnancy, and the DivaCup is WAY more comfortable!

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  153. Kotex pads gave me a horrid chemical burn and bleached my underwear about 3 years ago. Which is painful and appalling down there. When I contacted Kotex over it, they said they'd never heard of it happening, told me maybe I was using them wrong (what?), had me send a few of them, and then never got back to me.

    I immediately dropped their product, and switched to chlorine-free Seventh Generation.

    Mold is never "harmless." What would they do if you died of an allergic reaction from shoving that thing in unknowingly?

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  154. I don't know how it is in USA, but I live in Europe and my mother, and all the people I know, when they see mold on a food item, especially baked goods, the first thing they do is put it in a sealed bag before throwing away (or if they don't have any bags at hand to use for that they just gently place it in the trashcan and tie a tight knot on the garbage bag and throw that away, or if even that is not an option, the course of action is to just quickly go outside to the communal trash container). That is so the mold spores wouldn't escape more into the air. Penicilin is a mold by-product. On the other hand mold growing on food is considered poisonous here.

    We don't dare have it in contact with the air we breathe or our skin just in case we fall ill. And that is just talking about the regular skin that is meant to protect us from the environment. I couldn't even consider what would happen if it came into contact with mucous membrane like the inside of our vagina's. Especially when at that time of the month it has lots of nutritious menstrual blood to feed on.

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  155. I would send this to your local news station or to 60-Minutes or 20/20. It's not okay to have moldy tampons in our bodies. Yuk!

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  156. Harmless? B.S.!! No mold is "harmless." Fungi are serious contenders with beneficial bacteria, the balance of which help defend against, oh, you know, those "harmless" candida infections. Candida yeast is another kind of fungus, the one that causes those painful inflammatory outbreaks, which you are prone to get repeatedly, once you have gotten your balance upset that first time. I have battled candida overgrowth in my digestive tract for much of my life...when I was growing up, my parents had us eat bread that had gone moldy, just scraped off the green part - not good enough. I have also had molds in my respiratory system, from living in damp, improperly sealed basement apartments - not fun. I have been allergic or sensitive to most types of mold ever since. Not harmless.

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  157. Call me crazy, but anything made to be inserted IN my body should be clean. I don't care what the say about the mold being safe. Suggest the letter writer insert this tampon herself if it's so inert.

    Yikes.

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  158. Aw, hell! I always soak my tampons in vodka before I put them up in my hoo-hoo, so I'm sure any pathogens or mold spores are rendered harmless. Buck up ladies, get a buzz and protect your bits like I do!

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  159. I'm a woman, a real person, and a tampon user, and I really think the Kotex witch hunt is unfounded here. Take responsibility for what you're putting in your own body. Yeah, this story is gross, and yeah, it would really sick me out if it happened to me and yeah, I didn't really think about how I can't see the tampon if I use an applicator until reading this, but it's not Kotex's job to do my common sense thinking for me. The company that created the product is only a fraction of the scenarios that tampon was exposed to before it got to me. Settle for your ability to spread some common sense and get off Kotex's back.

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  160. Not sure if this is the same problem, but Kotex have had a recall recently:
    http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/15/kotex-tampons-recalled-over-bacterial-contamination/

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  161. Seriously - switch to OB. Clear packaging means NUTHIN'S getting put anywhere without you seeing what's what first. This is horrifying!
    I work with an holistic healer and I asked about the mold situation... he told me that it would have caused you serious bacterial issues which would have manifested as an extreme yeast infection. ...and THEY told you it wasn't dangerous.

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  162. Yikes! I cringed when I saw that picture. How awful, how gross! No, you do not want to be putting that in your body. Ever.

    I used to be an o.b. tampon user, but switched to a menstrual cup and homemade cotton pads over a decade ago. I heartily suggest buying the menstrual cup of your choice, and buying cloth pads or sewing your own. There are lots of kinds of menstrual cups out there, and comparison sites as well. The cup/cloth pad system is so much more comfortable than disposable products, the savings is tremendous, there's much less hassle (in my opinion), and there's no mold.

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  163. it's official. diva cup & mama cloth. I sure as hell don't want a moldy vag. just sayin.

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  164. Im so trying the diva cup

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  165. Hey Danielle, just watched the news story and I want to tell you your nails look beautiful! Lucky you didn't have skanky nails for the public display of your tampon. ;)

    I noticed the newsreader said at the end that it is recommended to check the products before you use them. Are you expected to take each tampon out of the applicator to check it out??? What a silly suggestion.

    Anyway, I know you are not the secret Sharpie tampon painter, and I'm glad that yucky little number never found its way up your hoo-ha. :)

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  166. Thank god for the Diva cup... faithful user for 6 years and never going back

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  167. I agree with Jen. They way they apologized was so rude. So sorry you felt upset. Really? They didn't apologize for what they did to you or for causing this issue. They mostly seem to defend themselves. I would contact a local or perhaps even national news outlets. I think this story would be worthy of coverage.

    And yeah, I can't recommend a menstrual cup enough. I use the Lunette cup which seemed to get the best reviews for cups available in the US. Check them out.

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  168. Am I the only one to notice that in their reply, Kotex actually apologized for the concern of their consumer? They're sorry that their customer cares, and not that they screwed up!
    Also, in all fairness, I imagine that their competition is equally prone to similar mold infiltration. It's just Kotex's bad luck that someone exposed their particular episode. Buyer beware when applying or inserting anything.

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  169. This just makes me wonder what they normally do to that product to make it mold-resistant and do I really want whatever that is sitting in close contact with my vagina?

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  170. It's understandable that you don't want to use their products anymore, but if they send you free coupons, at least go get some pads (which you can easily check for mold or other problems) with them and donate them to a women's shelter. No use being wasteful.

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  171. Please for the love of god, please sue them. This really needs to be heard. Women have such sensitive systems already, it's unforgivable to hear of a company not taking it seriously and allowing it to happen in the first place. I have friends with serious mold allergies, what if it happens to someone like that next. This is just so ridiculous.

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  172. Wow, it's not bad enough you can easily get toxic shock syndrome from tampons now this! That's truly disgusting and yet another reason the only way I use them is in the summer when going into the swimming pool. Otherwise it's pads for me.

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  173. So sorry that happened to you and their responce I think was worse then the photos of the moody tampon. I am happy to say I have never once used a tampon and now after seeing this I never will use one, I can clearly see what is on my feminine pads! I highly doubt that it is just the Motes tampons that have/have had moody tampons.

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  174. So, are you gonna take this tampon to a lab for analysis of the mold and let us know what they find?

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  175. Kotex had a tampon recall last year too, someone said: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/kotex-recalls-1400-cases-of-tampons_n_1093722.html

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  176. @kdement

    Nobody is stupid enough to use a moldy tampon and your comment about homeless people is really nasty and unnecessary.

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  177. EGADS!!! How can this be allowed!??!!?
    When I buy my Tampax -there's always an information sheet re: TSS - wash your hands, don't be dirty etc etc etc...

    ... can can one company be so vigilant about being CLEAN , and another be all "Yo, just stick that foosty rag up yer vadge and be done with it - yer hormonal!!!"

    ... and for the record?
    When I see that mould on my cheese etc?!?!?! I cut that crap OFF!!! I wouldn't eat mould - why would I insert it!??!?!?!

    Shame on KOTEX.

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