Did you know that average woman spends approximately $4.00 a month on menstrual products? From 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 organic cotton versions of these products centers around fact that synthetics have been linked to potential health hazards, such as Toxic Shock Syndrome and exposure to dioxin.
As you might imagine, cost of organic tampons and pads is significantly higher than 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 market in 1930s, women used rags, which were kinder to environment because they were washable and hence, reusable. It wasn't until '30s, and in years since then, that more and more women began to discover they had cause for concern.
After all, they hadn't been considering environment -- and it is extremely wasteful to use a product for just a few hours and then throw it away. According to most estimates, 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 toilet -- even one made from organic cotton -- or throw it in garbage, it is going to be problematic for environment. If flushed down toilet, these throwaway products can clog sewer line; or they can go on to play havoc with water treatment plant. (It has been reported that, in 9 out of 10 plumbing problems in apartment buildings, homes and offices, culprits are non-reusable menstrual products!)
In addition, when you throw them in 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.