SAGINAW — The black spots were hard to miss. They were covering a tampon discovered by Danielle Parr on Tuesday morning.
"When I went to look, I saw some discoloration," she said. "It looks like mold to me."
The tainted tampon came from a box of Kotex purchased at a Saginaw grocery store three weeks ago. Parr was so disgusted with what she found, she checked the rest of the contents.
"After I opened this one, I went through and opened the rest, because I was grossed out," she said.
News 8 reached out to Kimberly Clark, the company that makes Kotex tampons. A spokesman said he was unaware of any mold issues concerning their products, and said the company would investigate any health or safety concerns.
A customer service representative for Kimberly Clark also contacted Parr on Tuesday and apologized for the defect.
In an e-mail to Parr, the representative said mold has been found on other tampons in the past. "In instances where it has been found, we conducted tests on the product involved and have found the mold to be common environmental species that carries no health risk," the representative said.
The e-mail went on to say that the mold was similar to the type of mold that could be found on a vegetable or a piece of fruit.
"To me, it felt like they were brushing it off... like it was no big deal," Parr said.
"The tampon I saw was disgusting," said Dr. Jay Staub, an OB/GYN. He said while using a moldy tampon might not endanger the user's life, it could cause some serious issues for a woman.
"If a woman uses a tampon that is contaminated with bacteria, mold, I suppose there can be a risk of infection because you're putting mold in the vagina," he said.
Danielle Parr posted the pictures of the tampon on her personal blog and on Facebook. By Tuesday evening, the story went viral with more than 100,000 people visiting her page.
Kimberly-Clark said it plans on requesting a sample of the tampon so it can determine what the substance is.