If you use tampons, the maker of Kotex Tampons has a important message for you: thieves have stolen more than 16,000 cases of tainted tampons — and sold them to stores whose locations are unknown — that if used may harm your health.
The Dallas-based company, Kimberly-Clark Corp, said as part of their ongoing consumer protection activities, the company determined that 16,500 cases of the Kotex Natural Balance Security Tampons that failed an inspection test and were sent to a company in Oklahoma to be destroyed between October 2011 and June 2012, somewhere along the way were stolen by thieves and sold them to retailers,NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported.
Kimberly-Clark Corp. Spokesman Bob Brand said they have already recovered approximately 7,500 of those cases, but there's a slight problem — they don't know how many more cases may be in circulation.
According to a company press release, some of the tainted tampons have tested positive for:
• increased levels of bacteria;
• presence of metallic particles; or
• imperfect raw materials.
"We have no idea how the product was shipped or stored once it was stolen, so we're advising people not to use it at all. We consider it all unsafe," Brand said.
Previous Kotex recall
But this isn't the first time Kimberly-Clark Corp. has had problems with their Kotex Natural Balance* Security® Tampon brand. According to the Associated Press via KVUE news, in November 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recall warning to two specific lots of Kotex Natural Balance Security Unscented Tampons Regular Absorbency.
According to the FDA, the AP said, "both the 18 count and the 36 count packages contained tampons that were made with raw materials contaminated with Enterobacter sakazakii, a bug that may cause vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory diseases or other health issues."
No complaints yet
As of September 5, 2012, Kimberly-Clark Corp. has received no reports of consumer complaints regarding health issues with the product in question and "they would like to keep it that way," Brand said.
Although Brand said the health risk to women is low, company officials want women to check their tampon products at home to make sure it isn't a tainted box.
"We think the prospect is low it may have reached consumers, just out of an abundance of caution we want to make sure that folks are aware of what may be the situation and the check their cartons to make sure they don't have one of the impacted lot codes," he added.
That's why the company is encouraging all consumers to check their Kotex Natural Balance* Security® Tampon cartons for the specific lot codes. "The affected lot codes listed below can be found in the red box located on the bottom of the carton," the company release said. (view an example).
The lot codes are: • Kotex Natural Balance* Regular Absorbency Security Tampons, 18 count
• Kotex Natural Balance* Regular Absorbency Security Tampons, 36 count
• Kotex Natural Balance* Super Absorbency Security Tampons, 36 count
AC127423X; AC206623X; AC209624X
• Kotex Natural Balance* Super Plus Absorbency Security Tampons, 18 count
AC127322X; AC127422X; AC213822X; AC213922X; AC214022X; AC214322X
• Kotex Natural Balance* Super Plus Absorbency Security Tampons, 36 count
AC127424X; AC206824X; AC207824X
If you do discover that you were impacted by the recall or if you are experiencing health concerns with the use of the tampons, Kimberly-Clark Corp recommends that you should immediately stop using the product and contact your physician.
They also advise you to contact Kimberly-Clark Corp at 877-485-6839 for instructions on where to send the impacted products in return for a full refund. Kimberly-Clark Corp service representatives will be available seven days a week from 7 am to 7 pm Central Time.
You can also get information by visiting www.kotex.com or www.kimberly-clark.com .
According to the company news release, an investigation into this activity is ongoing and now involves the criminal investigation division of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Kimberly-Clark Corp, in conjunction with the FDA, is continuing efforts to recover the impacted tampons.
As a result, Kimberly-Clark Corp and the FDA are asking for the public's help in reporting any information regarding this situation to the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations by calling 800-521-5783 or by visiting www.fda.gov/OCI .