Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Toxic Shock – A Social History - NYU Press Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Toxic Shock: A Social History

Sharra L. Vostral


In 1980, young, healthy women in the United States suddenly began to get sick and even die. The unexpected link to these deaths was superabsorbent tampons. Thousands of women used them during their menstrual periods, signaling the potential for a large-scale outbreak. Toxic Shock: A Social History traces the emergence of this new illness of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and its relationship to tampon technology. This multifaceted history engages microbiology, design and innovation, journalism and mass communication, product liability, and federal policy and regulation. The broad scope captures th ... More

Keywords: tampons, toxic shock syndrome, women’s health, menstruation, Rely tampons, medical devices

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9781479877843
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479877843.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sharra L. Vostral, author
Purdue University