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By Julia Schopick

Did you know that the average woman spends approximately $4.00 a month on menstrual products? From the ages of 12 to 52, she would therefore spend up to $1900 in her lifetime!

And if she is more health-conscious, her costs will go up significantly, because very likely, she will decide to use organic cotton tampons and pads, rather than those made from less expensive synthetic materials, such as rayon. The reason these women choose the organic cotton versions of these products centers around the fact that the synthetics have been linked to potential health hazards, such as Toxic Shock Syndrome and exposure to dioxin.

As you might imagine, the cost of organic tampons and pads is significantly higher than the cost of non-organic disposables. In fact, these organic disposables cost an average of $5.50 a month, with an approximate lifetime cost of $2600!

One option that is often left out of such discussions (as well as media programs and articles) is REUSABLE MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS. The truth is, before tampons and throwaway menstrual pads came on the market in the 1930s, women used rags, which were kinder to the environment because they were washable and hence, reusable. It wasn't until the '30s, and in the years since then, that more and more women began to discover they had cause for concern.

After all, they hadn't been considering the environment -- and it is extremely wasteful to use a product for just a few hours and then throw it away. According to most estimates, the average woman will use nearly 12,000 of these disposable products during her lifetime. That's quite a lot of garbage!

Whether you flush a tampon or pad down the toilet -- even one made from organic cotton -- or throw it in the garbage, it is going to be problematic for the environment. If flushed down the toilet, these throwaway products can clog the sewer line; or they can go on to play havoc with the water treatment plant. (It has been reported that, in 9 out of 10 plumbing problems in apartment buildings, homes and offices, the culprits are non-reusable menstrual products!)

In addition, when you throw them in the garbage, these disposables end up in landfills, where they probably won't biodegrade for many years, because they lack light, water and circulating air. (Did you know that people have dug into landfills and found newspapers from 50 years earlier that are still readable?) And experts estimate that plastic tampon applicators may actually take 300 to 500 years to biodegrade.

So what's the answer for the frugal, environment-conscious menstruating woman? REUSABLE MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS, of course. Unlike tampons, women can use the earth-friendly, reusable menstrual cup, called THE KEEPER( (, made from gentle rubber (similar to the rubber that is used to make baby bottle nipples). Besides being easy on the environment, The Keeper is easy on the pocketbook, costing an average of 29 cents a month for 10 years. With proper care (for instance, not using harsh chemicals to wash it), one cup should last up to 10 years!

The Keeper is also convenient, and comes with a drawstring purse, so it is easy to keep with you so you'll always be prepared. And since it is made of rubber, rather than of an absorbent fibrous material, such as rayon, it can be worn up to 12 hours before being emptied. On heavy days, you may want to change it more often. The fact that The Keeper is not made of rayon, or any other synthetic material, also reduces the potential for Toxic Shock Syndrome and eliminates dioxin exposure. (Are you aware that the FDA does not require manufacturers of tampons or pads to list their products' ingredients in or on the box?)

But some women want a reusable - but not an insertable - menstrual product. The answer: reusable menstrual pads, such as GladRags (, made from organic cotton that, like The Keeper, can be used for years and will be friendly to the environment and the pocketbook. In fact, women should have choices -- a drawer full of several different reusable products for various times during their periods.

For these reasons, reusable menstrual products are THE MOST ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY OF ALL!

For more information, please contact the Marketing Director of The Keeper, Inc.,
Julia Schopick at 708-848-4788, or email her at

Or please visit The Keeper website at

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Web-sites that provide natural and organic products:
"Mountain Rose" at
Phone: 1-800-879-3337
They carry products such as: 100% certified cotton tampons. They use no pesticides, fungicides, chlorine or other chemical. They also carry certified organic AND colored cotton menstrual pads from "Natural Choice."

"Green Market Place" at
They provide tampons, pads and liners which are natural, "made without using chlorine or other harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process."

"NatraCare" at
They provide a full line of non-chlorine bleached natural feminine hygiene products called, "NatraCare." Their tampons are all cotton. This site also provides information on tampon safety, 'A Guide To Women's Health Resources on the Internet,' and press coverage.

"Organic Essentials" at
They are a farmer owned company who grows and uses 100% certified organic cotton and manufacture it into 100% certified organic cotton tampons. They also offer cotton balls, swabs and cosmetic rounds, as well as the digital and applicator tampons, ad cotton menstrual pads. They do not use bleach, pesticides, fungicides or other chemicals.

Some Dr.'s Say...
Some Dr.'s have said that tampons cannot be totally trusted. They say that tampons are not fully sterilized. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea for women to talk to their own Dr. and see what they have to say about this topic. Maybe they have important news too.

The above list of links is excerpt from Christina Francine's Article at entitled:
The Latest News on Tampon Safety & The Rumor/Claim thanks and for this page.