Remember the Case of the Black Mold Tampons? That was unbelievably gross. And, it turns out, it could have been more than just a situation of black mold–it could have been the black market. Kimberly-Clark, the parent company of Kotex, has issued a health advisory regarding some of their defective tampons. Apparently, the cotton ponies that didn’t pass muster were supposed to be destroyed…but instead, were stolen.
Between October of last year and late June of this year, tampons deemed defective or unsafe were being sent to an outside company to be destroyed. But, according to the press release, the products were “stolen and fraudulently distributed between.”
Yup. All the tampons not fit to absorb your periods were then stolen and, possibly, re-sold.
Kimberly-Clark calls the health risk “low,” but cautions that the bad rags may contain:
- increased levels of bacteria;
- presence of metallic particles; or
- imperfect raw materials.
Presence of metallic particles. Increased bacteria. Ew. So many times ew.
How did the tampons get from the incinerator line to store shelves? Kimberly-Clark says, because the they’re no longer within their jurisdiction, they’re not sure. Again, from the press release:
Because the cases have left K-C’s authorized supply chain, the company has no knowledge of the product’s current condition.
But K-C is being pretty great about providing consumers with information. They’re offering full refunds if you do still have the product on-hand, and lots of important facts about which ones might be unsafe.
The ‘pons impacted by the thievery are listed in the this PDF, in case you think you may have one of the bad batches lurking under your sink or in your gym bag. And, if you’re having a hard time finding the lot number, Kimberly-Clark has included this useful image:
Since none of us really douche anymore (because it’s bad for your vagina and also just not a very good idea, and also a waste of money), tampons are probably the most intimate product most of us ladies buy on any given month. And the repeated recalls, scares, and mold incidents are really making it hard to get behind this method of period-handling.
Images via Kimberly-Clark