Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Can you flush a tampon?

Reprinted from

Can tampons be flushed down the toilet?

A: TAMPONS SHOULD NEVER BE FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET.Tampons are absorbent wads of material that expand both widthways and lengthways when they absorb fluids, this means they can easily plug up toilets and pipes within the building you are flushing them. There are approximately 2.5 million tampons flushed in the UK alone (not sure on US statistics, but guesses are they are a lot higher), these all contribute to a huge problem for local water authorities as their pipes get blocked and damaged by anything other than human waste and toilet paper being flushed – it costs water authorities approximately $25 billion per year to sort this out, that could be put to better use. Even the most advanced water treatment plants will still allow small debris through the system, this ends up in our oceans and on our beaches, per kilometre of beach you are looking at 14 tampons – so when you go walking along a beach remember when you see a used tampon it is likely to be one that someone carelessly flushed. Commercial tampon manufacturers claim their tampons are flushable, common sense says otherwise, also remember commercial tampons are full of chemicals so that just adds to chemical pollution as well as waste pollution. They say they are flushable because they like to emphasis the convenience of their products, although there are more convenient options that don't require as much changing or disposal such as menstrual cups. There are no laws to stop tampon manufacturers telling people this.Tampons should always be wrapped up in toilet paper or put into sanitary bags, this is what these things are made for, also why they have tampon and pad bins in women's toilets. You should be doing the same at home, if you don't have a bin with a lid already in your bathroom then buy or ask for one.

No comments: