Do you take your tampons out of their applicators and check them for mold before inserting them into your vagina? Bet you will after reading this story!

A woman named Danielle was recently horrified when one of her Kotex tampons fell out of its applicator to reveal big, nasty, black spots of mold. Mold that totally would have ended up in her vagina, had she not noticed before using any of them. She was rightfully PO’ed, and emailed some photos of the grossness to Kotex as well as posting them on her blog.

She received the following response:

Dear Danielle,

Thanks for contacting us about your experience with KOTEX® SECURITY® tampons.  We are very sorry that you were disappointed with your recent purchase of our product.

We understand how distressing it can be to find mold on a product that is used for personal hygiene and apologize for your concern.  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.

You can be confident that we are diligently reviewing our manufacturing process to ensure this problem does not recur.  Because our customers and their well-being are very important to us, we want to assure you that the quality and safety of our products are our top priorities.  We apply very rigorous procedures to our products to ensure that they are safe for their intended use.

With the hope that you will continue to use SECURITY tampons with confidence, we are sending you some coupons through the mail for your use on future purchases.

Consumer Services, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Lead the world in essentials for a better life.

Translation: “Don’t worry about that black mold we tried to sneak into your body via tampons because it is totally fine to put up there. Just think of it like your vagina is eating a cookie! Here are some coupons for more mold cookies.”

Needless to say, Danielle was not too satisfied with this response and posted the following:

Yeah, that’s real reassuring. I was grossed out in the first place and their response just makes it worse! Seems this is a fairly common problem … and that is a cause for serious concern. I doubt most people get as lucky as I did – I just so happened to accidentally expose the mold and I am so glad that I did! Most people wouldn’t be so fortunate. [tagbox tag=”tampons”]

Thanks for the coupons, Kotex, but I can confidently say I’ll never be purchasing any of your products ever again.

It was at this point that the internet began to notice, blowing up Kimberly-Clark’s Facebook page and talking shit and non-stop. This triggered the “human PR person damage control response,” and Danielle received the following letter:

Dear Danielle,

I just read your message to us on Facebook and I wanted to tell you that we are so sorry you had this experience! In [redacted]’s eagerness to get back to your e-mail right away, she unfortunately sent you incorrect information concerning this 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. So if you still have the tampon, can you please return it to us by using the prepaid mailing envelope we’re sending you?

We’d also really like to get on the phone with you and find out more to help us in our investigation. Please give us a call at [redacted] and ask for [redacted], or reply to this e-mail and give us your phone number and the best time to contact you.

Again, we are so sorry this happened and thank you so much for getting in touch with us and giving us the chance to help make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Account Executive
Consumer Services, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Lead the world in essentials for a better life.

This is a little bit better, but still: even just knowing that this is a possibility makes my vagina want to sew itself shut forever. Have I already used moldy tampons without even realizing it? I haven’t felt this skeeved out since my cousin told me I had probably already eaten, like, a hundred spiders in my sleep. Tampons are convenient and all, but this might just be the final push I need to switch over to the Diva Cup forever.

(Via Jezebel)