Many women opt for pads when they have their period, although some have switched to less dangerous methods such as menstrual cups. However, there are still some that use buffers without taking into account the presence of titanium dioxide.
That’s why we may be alarmed by claims on social media about tampons. Some allege that a common ingredient found in many brands of tampons called dioxide can cause excessive bleeding, infertility, and even cancer.
can cause cancer
Titanium dioxide is a natural substance that is often used in foods and other topical products to create a whiter, brighter appearance. In fact, this white pigment lightens paints, paper coatings, sunscreens, flours, and dairy products. And it works the same way in tampons: Titanium dioxide serves as a coloring agent to make period products look whiter.
But it is not really known if it is safe. According to experts, regulated doses of titanium dioxide are not harmful, but this also varies according to use. Higher doses can usually be used safely topically. For example, when the substance is applied through a sunscreen, the dioxide is safe and effective.
However, large amounts of dioxide could be harmful if ingested. In fact, in 2021 titanium dioxide was declared to be no longer safe as a food additive. The chemical also appears to have a potentially negative impact on the gut microbiome. Exposure to titanium dioxide can destroy good gut microbes , cause gut dysfunction, and increase gut inflammation.
Although titanium dioxide from tampons can cause cancer when ingested or inhaled, it is not conclusive whether it has the same impact when absorbed vaginally. There are no published studies on dioxide causing excessive bleeding, infertility, or cancer, so it’s hard to say whether it’s dangerous to women’s health or not.
How to know if tampons have titanium dioxide?
Most tampons list their ingredients on the back of the package. But if we don’t see the word titanium dioxide, it doesn’t necessarily mean the chemical isn’t in tampons. Sometimes the substance is also referred to as pigment white 6 or pigment white.
However, the data is inconclusive as to whether these products are actually related to excessive bleeding, cancer, and infertility, so it is not right or wrong to continue using these products based on currently available information.
When it comes to period products, the priority should be to use products that we feel comfortable with and that are accessible. If you can’t help but feel anxious about titanium dioxide, there are plenty of reliable period care products and tampon brands you can try without the chemical.