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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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This Week In FDA History - Oct. 21, 1979

Photo with caption
October 21, 1979:
Jere E. Goyan, Ph.D., becomes commissioner of food and drugs. Goyan is the first pharmacist to serve as commissioner. During his tenure, the link between tampons and toxic shock syndrome (TSS) was first reported.

FDA in 2006

The number of TSS cases associated with the use of tampons reached its peak in 1980. The increased
risk of TSS with tampon use was traced in part
to certain high-absorbency materials used in some tampons. Today, changes in materials and better public understanding of the risk have made tampon-associated TSS cases rare. The FDA requires tampon
packages to provide consumers with important safety information to minimize the risk of TSS. Package inserts advise women to use the minimum absorbency needed, describe the symptoms of TSS, and instruct users what to do if these symptoms appear. The FDA has established standards for testing the absorbency of tampons and for absorbency labeling.