Model Sues Kotex After Losing a Leg to Toxic Shock Syndrome

Lauren Wasser, Kotex, toxic shock syndrome, tampons, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, feminine hygiene

A California model is suing Kotex for the loss of her leg after allegedly contracting toxic shock syndrome from one of its tampons. Lauren Wasser, 27, was using a Kotex Natural Balance tampon in October 2012 when she found herself en route to Santa Monica’s Saint John’s Health Center with a 107-degree temperature, “10 minutes from death,” according to Vice. She’d suffered a massive heart attack, hospital staff said, and her internal organs were shutting down. The likeliest culprit? Her tampon, which tested positive for TSS, a life-threatening disease caused by a toxin produced by certain types of Staphylococcus bacteria.

Lauren Wasser, Kotex, toxic shock syndrome, tampons, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, feminine hygiene

CAUTIONARY TALE

Wasser was placed in a medically induced coma as the toxins were flushed out of her system. The infection, however, turned into gangrene. Her right leg would need a below-the knee amputation.

TSS, as Vice tells it, isn’t something that only affects women who use tampons during their periods. It can also affect children, postmenopausal women, and men by occurring with skin infections, burns, and after surgery. Neither is a tampon alone enough to cause TSS. You must already have Staphylococcus present inside your body for the condition to manifest. Couple that with the synthetic fibers favored by the major tampon-makers, plus the product’s vaunted absorbency, and you have the perfect breeding ground for staph bacteria.

RELATED | Your Feminine-Care Products Are Trying to Kill You, Says Study

Wasser’s family has filed a lawsuit against Kimberly-Clark, the corporation which distributes Kotex, as well as the grocery stores Kroger and Ralph’s, where she purchased the tampons, for being “negligently, wantonly, recklessly, tortuously, and unlawfully responsible in some manner” for Wasser’s hospitalization.

This fall, Wasser says she hopes to appear before Congress with Carolyn Maloney, the New York congresswoman who is trying to pass a bill that would create a “program of research regarding the risks posed by the presence of dioxin, synthetic fibers, chemical fragrances, and other components of feminine-hygiene products.”

Meanwhile, Wasser wants tampons to be marketed with bigger, clearer warnings about their potential risks. “You know cigarettes can kill you, so when you use them, it’s your choice,” she says. “Had I known all the info about TSS, I would never have used tampons.”

+ Vice

Related Posts

6 Responses to “Model Sues Kotex After Losing a Leg to Toxic Shock Syndrome”

  1. eliyahna says:

    She should model the way she is just to show that she can. She is certainly still just as beautiful as before.

  2. icyvfrost says:

    I’m sorry this happened to her but they do have warnings on the packs. Also how long did she have it in? That can be a factor.

  3. ecoman says:

    I hope some designer or modeling agency has the balls to keep her in the business, especially if that’s what she really wants to continue doing. It would make for some great inspiration and show the industry has a heart.

  4. marcy says:

    I length of time the product is worn is more than a FACTOR…it is the cause. The tampon itself cannot cause TSS…it’s the bacteria from your body entering the bloodstream that causes the syndrome.

  5. Jasmin Malik Chua says:

    Yes, as mentioned in the story, you must already have Staphylococcus present inside your body for the condition to manifest.

  6. dnr13 says:

    1) there are warnings 2) her calling for tests means 1000s of animals will be tested on – if not 10s of 1000s — this is NOT something GirlyGirlArmy who reposted should be supporting!

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.

Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments.

Add your comments

NEW USER


Do you live in Canada? Register here

I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.

You must agree to receive emails from this site to subscribe.

CURRENT USERS LOGIN

Lost your password?