Why is it bad to flush tampons down a toilet, when they are smaller than the average turd and biodegradable?


I have always wondered why it’s so bad to flush a tampon. I know tampons blow up a bit when wet, but even when fully saturated, they don’t get as big as a large turd. And they are generally made of cotton, not plastic, so surely they will break down well enough? Thanks.

EDIT TO ADD: I am not saying I flush tampons! I don’t. I just wanted to make sure there’s a good reason for it.

In: 0

Just because they are “biodegradable” doesn’t mean they will degrade quickly. The average turd can (and will) break apart, beginning almost immediately, while the material in a tampon will stay together for quite some time. And during that time, the tampon (particularly when combined with other such materials, in a sewage system) can cause blockages.

The inside of pipes is not perfectly smooth, there are often small sharp bits left inside from when the pipe is cut, and anything fibrous, like cotton, can get caught on it and start a clog. Anything with more structural integrity than toilet paper should be avoided.

Cotton in particular takes years or decades to break down, which is why it’s useful for clothing.

A turd isn’t a solid log. More like wet dirt that is easily liquefiable if you add enough water. Means it dissolves in water.

A tampon does not dissolve in water. It will stay in its shape for a long long time and will likely get stuck somewhere in the pipes.

Same with toilet paper and wet wipes. Toilet paper quickly dissolves in water. wet wipes don’t.

So the reason is, with your sewage system. Eventually it reaches what’s called a rising main, or lift. In this lift is typically an internal pump with a motor, things like none biodegradable tissues and stuff get caught in the blades and turns into rope. With enough of the stuff it completely stops the pumps and ends up backing up the system

The literal purpose of a tampon is to clog pipes. In a person’s body, tampons soak up and clog blood flow. In pipes, they’re going to do the same thing if they get caught somewhere.

Think about the difference between when you get toilet paper wet and when you get a tampon wet. Tampons aren’t just dissolving inside people’s bodies. There are different levels of biodegradability.