Women Flushing Pads and Tampons Down the Toilet Is Flooding This Montreal Hospital

Illustration for article titled Women Flushing Pads and Tampons Down the Toilet Is Flooding This Montreal Hospital

Pop quiz! Where do tampons and pads go?

A. In the medicine cabinet

B. In your vagina or on the crotch of your underwear

C. In the designated trash bin

D. A combo of A, B, and C

Or E. Flushed down the toilet of the McGill University Health Centre

The answer, of course, is D. As any woman who uses menstrual products can tell you, pads and tampons should never be flushed down the toilet because pads and tampons will destroy your plumbing system.

Case in point, the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), a gigantic hospital in Montreal, has suffered from major plumbing issues, largely thanks to the women who flush their pads’n’pons.

The Montreal Gazette reports:

...Officials at the McGill University Health Centre now believe that too many tampons being flushed down toilets in one concentrated area of the superhospital is the main cause of the sewage backups that flooded the birthing centre last August.


“What’s causing the blockages in these areas are still the pads and the brown paper,” says MUHC spokesman Ian Popple.

First of all, who are these monsters who flush paper towels down the toilet? Moving on, though: the MUHC, which opened last spring, houses the majority of its female-centered healthcare on one central floor.

“That’s the floor where you have a large number of women’s toilets and where larger, thicker pads get lodged in the pipes,” Popple explains.

The flooding is now under control, but the flushing of pads and tampons continues to be a problem so let’s go over this one more time. Where do tampons and pads go? All together now: NEVER! IN! THE! TOILET!


Contact the author at madeleine@jezebel.com.

Image via Shutterstock.

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My dog is way too smart for his own good, and I have not yet found a latch for my bathroom trash can that he can’t figure out. He also (and I apologize for the extreme grossness) likes to eat sodden tampons. This means I have to put the trash can somewhere out of his reach whenever it’s shark week.

I mentioned this on Gawker at one point, and got a bunch replies — many from women — berating me for being disgusting for not flushing tampons like everyone knows you’re supposed to. One (female!) commenter claimed it was an urban legend that tampons clog pipes. I’m still boggling over that one.

I live in a building that was built in the 40s, and it’s actually written into my lease that tampons can’t be flushed.