Evidence of PFAS Found in Tampons

November 21, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Evidence of PFAS Found in Tampons

Five of the top tampon brands in the country have been discovered to contain detectable levels of polyfluoroalkyl substances(PFAS). These so-called “forever chemicals” have been found in everything from firefighting foam to drinking water and have been linked to severe health issues like cancer, liver damage, immune system damage, birth defects, and more. 

The presence of PFAS chemicals in tampons can have severe health consequences for those that suffer long-term exposure to these substances. Consumers have the right to take legal action if they have been harmed as a result and can file a product liability lawsuit to seek compensation for damages. Dolman Law Group provides free consultations to those curious about filing a PFAS lawsuit against those that have caused their injuries. You can contact our office to set up a free no-obligation consultation at 727-451-6900 or fill out a contact form online

Testing Shows Signs of PFAS in Five Tampon Brands

The popular environmental wellness blog, Mammavation in partnership with EHN.org had 23 tampon products tested by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified lab and discovered signs of PFAS chemicals in five notable brands. The lab found that there were detectable levels of fluorine ranging from 19 parts per million (ppm) to 28ppm in five popular brands of tampon which indicates the presence of PFAS chemicals. The brands found to contain traces of PFAS chemicals include:

  • Maxim Hygiene Organic Cotton Cardboard Applicator Tampons
  • OrganYc Complete Protection Tampons (made with organic cotton)
  • Playtex SPORT Regular & Super Tampons
  • Tampax Cardboard Applicator Unscented Tampons and 
  • Up & Up (Target Brand) Regular Tampons.

The Mammavation and EHN.org partnership to test the tampons was reviewed by chief scientist Pete Myers of Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes Environmental Health News. EHN.org helped to fund the tests of the tampons after they had already begun an in-depth investigation into PFAS in a variety of products like makeup and sports clothing. 

Detecting Fluorine in Tampons and the Indication of PFAS Presence

While the test did not directly isolate and identify PFAS per se, it did detect concerning levels of fluorine which is a chemical element that is an integral component of PFAS molecular structure. The fluorine-carbon bonds that makeup PFAS chemicals are among the strongest known and nature which what make them so resilient and what gives them water-proof characteristics. 

The detection of these fluorine atoms is disturbing since it indicates a significant enough presence of PFAS. Scott Belcher, Ph.D. & Associate Professor with the Center for Environmental & Health Effects of PFAS at North Carolina State University explains that polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or Teflon as it is also known, is a common form of PFAS that cannot be detected directly but its presence can be indicated by the total organic fluorine that is present in the five brands of tampons. Put simply, the organic fluorine is the smoke and PFAS is the fire. 

How Did PFAS Get Into Tampons?

Even more disturbing is that the presence of fluorine also can indicate the presence of other harmful substances such as phthalates and bisphenol-A (BPA). Due to the 19-28ppm of organic fluorine found in the five tampon brands, experts have concluded that it is likely the PFAS found its way into the tampons unintentionally through contamination in the supply chain. This PFAS contamination can occur in the following scenarios:

  • Fluorinated plastic exposure in the supply chain
  • Fluorinated packaging
  • Fluorinated fiberglass exposure
  • Fluorinated storage containers transporting supplies
  • Fluorinated lubrication used around machinery
  • Fluorinated sprays used on machinery
  • Contamination originating within raw materials

What is PFAS?

Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are manmade chemicals that are typically used for a variety of applications in many products. PFAS is characterized by its water-resistant and repellant qualities which make it ideal for waterproofing, stain resistance, cosmetics, grease/ oil resistance, and heat resistance. PFAS chemicals are most often used as fluoropolymer coatings on many products that benefit from the aforementioned properties such as:

The most common PFAS are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) with perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) receiving less study but still maintaining a prominent threat. 

As a result of the highly resistant properties of PFAS, it is extremely persistent and breaks down very slowly over time earning them the nickname “forever chemicals”. It is because of this that it has become extremely pervasive throughout the environment in terms of soil, water, air, and even plantlife. A consequence of this is that PFAS has even found its way into people’s bodies which can have very dire health consequences.

Health Problems Caused by PFAS Exposure

As PFAS enters the body through exposure via drinking water, inhalation, or even skin contact it builds up and does not leave or break down. As PFAS accumulates in the body it disrupts a variety of your body’s organ functions and actively poisons you. There have been a variety of studies that have examined the effects of PFAS exposure and despite many having different results, they all share the conclusion that PFAS exposure has significant negative health consequences. Some of the health issues caused by PFAS exposure include the following.

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced immunity
  • Reduced vaccination response
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Lowered fertility
  • Kidney cancer
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Disrupted thyroid functioning
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Breast cancer

Why Choose Dolman Law Group as Your PFAS Lawyer?

Dolman Law Group is a personal injury law firm specializing in product liability lawsuits involving everything from defective drugs to firefighting foam containing PFAS. The PFAS attorneys of Dolman Law have extensive experience in litigation regarding products containing these chemicals and seeking compensation for health problems they cause such as cancer, liver damage, or endocrine disruption. 

Our PFAS lawyers have firsthand experience when it comes to cases involving PFAS exposure via AFFF firefighting foam and contaminated drinking water. Our firm can provide you with award-winning legal representation honed over our many years of success assisting injured consumers across the country.

Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your PFAS Tampon Lawsuit

If you or a loved one have suffered extensive exposure to PFAS through the use of products like tampons and developed adverse health effects then consider contacting Dolman Law Group about your case. You may be able to seek compensation for the damages you suffered by filing a product liability lawsuit against those who are responsible for your PFAS exposure. 

Consumers have the right to expect that sensitive women's products like tampons are free of potentially hazardous PFAS contamination. Contact our offices today for a free consultation on your PFAS tampon lawsuit. 


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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