Someone is watching over Danielle Parr, the Texas woman who was about to use this Kotex tampon, unaware of its moldy Swiss cheese center until it accidentally popped out of its applicator.
Aghast, agog and probably a-gag, she contacted the brand's headquarters to report the issue. According to Parr's blog , Kotex reps were not nearly as surprised.
Their initial response: "In instances where it has been found, we conducted tests on the product involved and have found the mold to be a common environmental species that carries no health risk. The vegetative mold is similar in nature to mold on vegetables or in baked goods."
Parr, like any reasonable person, wasn't comforted by the fact that food rots too.
One doctor who saw the tampon in question called it "disgusting."
"If a woman uses a tampon that is contaminated with bacteria, mold, I suppose there can be a risk of infection because you're putting mold in the vagina," Dr. Jay Staub, an OB/GYN, explained to Fort Worth's News 8 , which picked up Parr's story.
Once the case of the moldy tampon spread, Kotex released a new and improved statement on their Facebook page, now over-crowded by irate commenters.
"In the Kotex representative's eagerness to get back to the concerned consumer's e-mail right away, she unfortunately sent her incorrect information about the issue. Nothing is more important to us than consumer safety. Any discoloration or abnormality with our tampons is extremely rare, and we want to do a full investigation to determine the source and follow-up with our manufacturing facility. If you have any questions or concerns at all, please contact Consumer Services"
So I did.
A representative answered a few lingering questions I had like:
Was the moldy tampon a specific sub-brand of Kotex (like the "real talk" U brand)?
Nope just the standard Kotex tampons.
Do tampons have an expiration date?
No, there isn't anything in the tampons in the would expire so there's no need for an expiration date.
So where does the mold come from?
They haven't gotten the samples back yet so they can't say but it could be because of storage-if the tampons are stored in an area where mold could grow. The investigation into how it happened is still ongoing.
If there's a takeaway here it's: holy crap, mold can grow on tampons! Also, always look before you launch.