Who knew you could use tampons for more than just taking care of the annoying monthly magical moon time thing that happens to wimmens! Apparently some scientists have figured out that they're good for tracking pollution in our lakes and streams. Bonus they're cheap and plentiful!
According to the authors of the story:
Many household products that end up washed down a toilet or a bathroom drain contain optical whiteners, chemicals designed to make whites whiter and brighter. They're found in detergent, toothpaste, and even shampoo. So when optical whiteners show up in a stream or river, it means that somewhere, waste from a human dwelling is getting into the water. And that's not good.
But figuring out the exact amount of optical whiteners floating around in our waterways can be tricky. Absorbent materials could be used to soak up water samples for testing, but many of these fabrics are treated with the same whitening chemicals, so they wouldn't be able to provide an accurate representation of whiteners in the water. Tampons, on the other hand, aren't exactly made to be looked at, and don't get the same chemical brightening treatment, making them the perfect neutral detector.
"That's why tampons, being explicitly untreated, provide such a neat solution. Our new method may be unconventional – but it's cheap and it works," environmental engineer David Lerner said in a statement.
So if you want to find out where your toilet or sewage pipe is leaking all you need is a tampon and a black light... who knew?! Although I do love the idea of glow-in-the dark tampons for your lady bits. Party in the junk...right?!? :D