Re: Off-Topic!!! Dioxin in Tampons & more
From: Kay Argyle (
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 10:04:06 -0700 (MST)
Do your friends a favor and check out chain letters, especially warnings,
before you forward them.  Even if the message was real at one time, it may
have been circulating on the internet for a decade, like the one about the
boy who collects getwell cards.

The websites quoted below were turned up by searches for "asbestos in
tampons" and "internet hoax."

> > >  >> > Have you heard that tampon makers include asbestos in
> > >  >tampons?

The US FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health,, says, in part, "FDA regulates
the safety and effectiveness of medical devices, including tampons.
Recently it has come to the agency's attention that allegations about
tampons are being spread over the Internet. It is alleged that tampons are
contaminated by asbestos and dioxin during manufacture, and that rayon
fibers cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The available scientific evidence
does not support these rumors. The following information will help answer

The U.S. Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability
Information Bulletin at has
advice on how to identify internet hoaxes.  Their focus is on virus
warnings, but their advice applies to rumors about health and pending
legislation as well.

Below I intersperse excerpts from the "asbestos & dioxin in tampons"
warning with excerpts from the USDOE CIAC site.

> > >  >>   read this and pass on to your friends

"Individuals should also be especially alert if the warning urges you to
pass  it on to your friends. This should raise a red flag that the warning
may be a hoax."

> > >  >> > A woman getting her Ph.D. at University of Colorado @ Boulder
> > >  >> > sent the following:
> > >  >> > Donna C. Boisseau
> > >  >> > Stephanie C. Baker; Assistant to Dr. B.S. Katzenellenbogen,
> > >  >> > Professor
> > >  >> > University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Department of
> > >  >> > Molecular and Integrative Physiology; (217) 333-9769
> > > FYI for those of us that missed it on 60 minutes.

"There are two known factors that make a successful virus hoax, they are:
(1) technical sounding language, and  (2) credibility by association. If
the warning uses the proper technical  jargon, most individuals, including
technologically savy individuals, tend to  believe the warning is real. 
..  Even though  the person sending the warning may not have a clue what
he is talking about,  the prestige of the company backs the warning, making
it appear real."

> > >  >> > demanded a switch to this safer tampon, while the U.S. has
> > >  >> > decided to keep us in the dark about it.  In 1989, activists

A warning signal the DOE CIAC site doesn't mention is an appeal to
paranoia.  Anytime a message implies "they" don't want "us" to know, be
suspicious that someone is trying to manipulate you.

> > >  >it
> > >  >> > creates a breeding ground for the dioxin. 
> > >  >> > This is also the
> > >  >reason why
> > >  >> TSS  (toxic shock syndrome) occurs.

Toxic shock syndrome is triggered by a bacterial infection.  Dioxin is not
a bacteria and does not "breed."  Dioxin causes problems because it binds
to some of the docking sites used by the body's natural hormones.

Check out a book called "Thought Contagion," by Aaron Lynch.  It discusses
the ways ideas spread themselves to new people, like a cold virus spreads
by making the victim sneeze.

Kay Argyle
Wasatch Commons

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