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Exposure assessment to dioxins from the use of tampons and diapers.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental health perspectives
Publication Date
Volume
110
Issue
1
Pages
23–28
Identifiers
PMID: 11781161
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Over the past several years there has been concern over exposure to dioxins through the use of tampons and other sanitary products. This article describes attempts to estimate dioxin exposures from tampons and infant diapers; we then compare exposure estimates to dietary dioxin exposures. We analyzed four brands of tampons and four brands of infant diapers obtained from commercial establishments in San Francisco, California, for dioxin concentrations. We estimated exposures to dioxins on the basis of a screening level analysis that assumed all dioxins present were completely absorbed. We also estimated exposures by using a more refined analysis that incorporates partition coefficients to estimate bioavailability. None of the products contained 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, the most potent dioxin, although other dioxins were present at detectable concentrations in all samples. We observed minimal differences in the concentrations of dioxins between 100% cotton and cotton/pulp products. The refined exposure analysis indicates that exposures to dioxins from tampons are approximately 13,000-240,000 times less than dietary exposures. The refined exposure analysis showed that exposure to dioxins from the diet is more than 30,000-2,200,000 times the exposure through diapers in nursing infants. Although dioxins are found in trace amounts in both cotton and pulp sanitary products, exposure to dioxins through tampons and diapers does not significantly contribute to dioxin exposures in the United States.

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