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Is Cervical Cancer Caused by Tampons?


Updated May 01, 2009

Question: Is Cervical Cancer Caused by Tampons?
I received an email that said that tampons contain asbestos and dioxins that cause cervical cancer and uterine cancer if you use them. Do tampons cause cervical cancer?
Answer: The email has been circulating the Internet for years. The email warns that tampons contain asbestos, dioxin, and other synthetic fibers that can cause cancer in women. Fortunately, this is a myth; using tampons does not cause cancer. Otherwise there would be many more women diagnosed with cervical cancer than there are now.

In fact, tampons do not even contain asbestos. The FDA maintains that there is no asbestos in tampons or as part of the manufacturing process. They are manufactured from cotton and rayon.

Dioxin, the chemical compound also mentioned in the email is no longer a result of the tampon manufacturing process. In the past, bleaching methods of rayon produced trace amounts of dioxin, however, these bleaching methods are no longer used.

The bottom line is that when used properly, tampons are safe to use. There is no cancer risk in using them.


"CDRH Consume Information". Tampons and Asbestos, Dioxin, & Toxic Shock Syndrome. June 1999. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"FDA Consumer Magazine". Tampon Safety. March-April 2000. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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