Kimberly-Clark Corp. says thieves have stolen and sold some rejected tampons that may pose a health risk if used.
The Dallas-based company said 16,500 cases of the Kotex Natural Balance Security Tampons failed an inspection test and were to be destroyed. Some of the tampons tested positive for things like increased levels of bacteria, the presence of metallic particles or imperfect raw materials.
Kimberly-Clark Corp. Spokesman Bob Brand the company sent the tainted tampons to a company in Oklahoma to be destroyed, but somewhere along the way thieves stole some of the cases and sold them to retailers.
Brand said they have recovered approximately 7,500 of those cases -- but they don't know how many more may be in circulation. Brand added the company hasn’t received any complaints from consumers, but they want to keep it that way.
"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.
Brand said the health risk to women is low, but company officials want women to check their tampon products at home to make sure it isn't a tainted box.
He added Kimberly-Clark Corp. is in the process of working to buy back the tainted cases from retailers.
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"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," Brand said.
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
The products had been scheduled to be destroyed between October 2011 and June 2012.