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For Ana Ames-Durey, an unfortunate health scare led to an eco-friendly business idea. The 28-year-old has launched BON, which is said to be New Zealand’s first 100 percent organic tampon company.

According to Stuff.co.nz, it all began when Ames-Durey was rushed into surgery due to crippling abdominal cramps. Scans later revealed two 7 centimeter cysts growing in her ovaries, including one that had “twisted and split, leaking toxins into her body.” Fortunately, there were no complications  during surgery and her ovaries were saved.

During her recovery, health professionals suggested to Ames-Durey that she switch to organic menstrual products to reduce any stress on her system, the report claimed. She soon realized, however, there weren’t any viable options in New Zealand. That’s when she and her business partner, Rhys Clareburt, decided to launch the company.

“Regular tampons are filled with chemicals, pesticides, fragrances, bleaches and dyes,” she told Stuff.co.nz. “That’s going into the most absorbent part of a woman’s body.”

BON says their tampons are 100 percent certified organic cotton with no dyes, fragrances, chemicals or toxins. The product, which also comes in a biodegradable tube, can be shipped worldwide.

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“BON production methods help prevent the contamination of the air, water and soil around the world,” the company boasts. “BON organic growing methods prevent topsoil erosion, improve soil fertility, protects groundwater, conserves energy and deforestation.” Photo credit: BON

It’s clear from stories like these that many people are starting to consider the health effects of traditional feminine care products. EcoWatch previously covered a study from researchers at the University of La Plata in Argentina which revealed that glyphosate—a widely popular herbicide that has been linked to cancer by the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm—was detected in 85 percent of cotton hygiene products tested.

The Organic Consumers Association has said that conventional cotton is the most toxic crop in the world, using more than 25 percent of all the insecticides in the world and 12 percent of all the pesticides. Additionally, a landmark report published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe last week revealed that Monsanto’s flagship product Roundup, is now the “most widely applied pesticide worldwide.” Globally, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold since “Roundup Ready” crops, including cotton, were introduced in 1996.

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