Most people may assume it is acceptable to flush tampons down the toilet when they see a “tank” symbol on the package or public bathrooms that encourage this action, however this practice could pose serious dangers both to bathroom plumbing systems and to the environment.
Tampons do not biodegrade like loo roll does and they can create blockages at homes and wastewater treatment plants, taking up valuable landfill space while being an unwitting source of microplastic pollution in our oceans!
They Can Clog Your Pipes
No matter whether or not you use a septic system, flushing tampons down the toilet is never a wise move. They don’t break down easily, leading to blockages in your plumbing or sewer lines and possibly ending up in public water systems where they could cause backups, flooding and other headaches that negatively affect local governments, residents and property owners.
Whenever your toilet becomes blocked, the best thing to do is attempt to dislodge any obstruction with a plunger or drain snake, but if that does not work it’s time for professional help. Pour boiling hot water down your drain to help dissolve solids that have clogged it; pouring hot water down the toilet can also help clear away clogs in its pipes; pouring boiling hot water down may even clear out clogged tampons from further issues!
Why can Tampons Clog Pipes So Easily? The problem lies with their absorbent material. Once saturated with water, tampons can expand up to 10 times their original size before becoming trapped in your plumbing pipes or sewer lines. If they make their way all the way into your lateral connection – where your house’s sewer lines meet up with city lines – tampons could lead to major disruption that requires costly repairs.
Kotex, Tampax and Always are among many brands encouraging customers to wrap their used tampons in toilet paper before discarding them instead of flushing them down the toilet – for environmental and safety purposes. This approach can also save bathroom-goers some trouble.
But even if you choose to flush, there are ways you can still reduce your environmental footprint by opting for more reusable feminine products like menstrual cups or period panties – they’re biodegradable and produce much less waste than regular tampons! Plus, once your used tampon reaches wastewater treatment plants it will be fished out and taken directly into landfills for proper disposal.
They Can Damage Your Septic System
No matter if you live in an individual sewer system or connect to a municipal sewage treatment plant, flushing tampons down your toilet can create major plumbing issues. While many assume that septic systems were intended to handle feminine hygiene products properly, flushing them down could actually damage them by leading to blockages in these systems.
A tampon’s fibers are typically composed of cotton, rayon and sometimes plastic materials that do not dissolve when exposed to water, nor pass through a septic system without clogging pipes. Furthermore, its applicators do not dissolve when flushed down the toilet and could potentially build up in your septic tank and even leak into your home causing serious water and health issues.
If you use tampons, it is crucial that they are replaced every four to six hours to avoid leakage and the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Furthermore, applicators should be changed after every use to minimize blockages; if your home or RV/camper features a septic system with which they should not flushed together as flushing out can clog septic tanks with waste products; alternatively you can toss these out into the trash instead. Reusable period panties and Diva cups could also provide relief from leakage!
Though some websites claim that tampons can safely biodegrade in a septic system, this simply isn’t true. Tampons take at least six months to break down in a septic system and may become lodged in drain lines leading back into your home.
As well as tampons, other items to avoid flushing include clay kitty litter, paper towels, tissues and cigarette butts. Instead, these should be placed in your garbage or placed into a trashcan that can easily be emptied into an appropriate recycling bin.
To keep your septic system in great condition, contact Walters Environmental Services to arrange regular maintenance. Keeping up with it can ensure it will function for years to come.
They Can Cause a Health Hazard
Public restrooms often display signs encouraging you not to flush feminine hygiene products down the toilet, like tampons. While it might seem like an easy request, given that tampons resemble wads of toilet paper in size and shape, flushing would spare restroom-goers and cleaning crews from having to deal with bloody, smelly mess that flushing would create. But even manufacturers of feminine hygiene products have spoken out against doing this and most water experts consider this practice not ideal for your pipes.
Tampons may seem harmless enough, but improper disposal poses a significant health hazard. Super-absorbent tampons pose the greatest risk, which have been linked with toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS occurs when Staphylococcus aureus bacteria living on your skin and inside of your nose overgrow, producing toxins which enter your bloodstream through toxic shock syndrome.
TSS toxin can cause a range of symptoms, including high fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and muscle ache – in severe cases it has even been known to lead to death! If you suspect TSS symptoms in yourself or someone else around you, call your healthcare provider immediately for treatment and guidance.
When you flush tampons down your plumbing system, they travel until they reach your wastewater-treatment plant for processing. If they’re not properly filtered out before reaching this facility, they could clog pipes and cause significant costs for your city; alternatively, unfiltered tampons could end up in bodies of water like rivers and coastal waters where they could harm animals and marine life.
According to the Marine Conservation Society, up to two billion tampons make their way directly into toilets annually in England alone! Not only is this contributing to massive blockages in plumbing systems and harming the environment – it is also contributing to an unprecedented surge in microplastic pollution throughout our oceans.
If you want to prevent this problem, just wrap your tampon in toilet paper before disposing of it in the trash. Or better yet, consider switching to a reusable menstrual product like Diva Cups or menstrual panties which are safer and better for both you and the planet! These options make menstruation much less disruptive for all concerned!
They Can Be Hazardous to the Environment
Women may not realize it when flushing tampons down the toilet, but this action could be harmful to the environment. Tissue doesn’t break down like toilet paper does and may block pipes resulting in costly and messy sewage backflow issues for homeowners and businesses.
Tampons can also travel to sewage treatment plants where they can clog drains and create problems for workers. In these facilities, chemicals and filter systems must work together to try to get rid of all tampons but sometimes some slip through into the ocean and endanger marine life.
Therefore, it’s crucial that tampons don’t get flushed away into waterways. Instead, wrap your used tampon or pad in its original packaging before tossing it in your bathroom bin or for additional safety find a trash can specifically designed to collect menstrual products like the FabLittleBag for disposal of your used menstrual products and applicators.
If you live near facilities for cardboard recycling, your tampon box can also be recycled if the applicator has been taken off before placing it in the bin; just remember to make sure that any plastic applicators don’t last as these may take centuries to decompose in landfill.
Don’t forget that period panties and reusable tampons can help reduce waste while saving money on purchasing new tampons. Both products can be easily thrown out with your garbage while helping reduce waste and saving money when purchasing them again in future.
Though you may read otherwise on various websites, flushing tampons down the toilet should never be done! Doing so runs the risk of clogging your pipes or septic systems – something which costs homes and business owners billions each year in repairs; not to mention its environmental cost. If you must use them, use public restroom trash cans instead or consider switching to a reusable option such as Thinx or Inxco period panties instead of flushing.