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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2005 May;14(4):311-5.

Dioxin and furan levels found in tampons.

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Food and Drug Administration, Arkansas Regional Laboratory, Jefferson, Arkansas, USA.



Human exposure to dioxins and furans through diet and other sources has been of concern for many years. One specific concern, related to exposure in women's health, is the possible link to endometriosis. Although there are differences in opinion about this link, the concern from the public is real. Congressional interest has prompted investigations to determine the amounts of dioxins and furans present in feminine hygiene products available within the United States.


Tampon samples were analyzed via Gas Chromatography/High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (GC/HRMS) using a Micromass AutoSpec Ultima high resolution mass spectrometer at 10,000 mass resolution. As data were confirmed and quantified using direct isotope dilution, only the 17 2,3,7,8-chlorine-containing dioxin and furan concentrations were calculated from these analyses.


A total toxic equivalence (TEQ), using the World Health Organization's toxic equivalency factor (TEF) values, was calculated for each sample. The calculated TEQs for samples were not statistically different from those of the calculated TEQs using the average limit of detection (LOD) values.


Data show results similar to those reported by DeVito and Schecter (Environ Health Perspect 2002;110:23) in that most of the dioxins and furans were below the detection limit or estimated detection limits (EDLs).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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