Informed Consent

Online Consent Form

Title of Project: “Tampons and Toxic Shock Syndrome: Gender, Technology, and the History of a Health Crisis”

You are invited to participate in a research study about the history of tampons and Toxic Shock Syndrome. This study is conducted by Sharra Vostral, Associate Professor, Gender & Women’s Studies and History from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

This study will take approximately ten minutes of your time. You will be asked to complete an online survey about your recollection of the Toxic Shock Syndrome health crisis in 1980, and your feelings about the product labeling and inserts that followed.

Your decision to participate or decline participation in this study is completely voluntary and you have the right to terminate your participation at any time without penalty. You may skip any questions you do not wish to answer. If you do not wish to complete this survey, just close your browser.

Your participation in this research will be completely confidential and data will be averaged and reported in aggregate. Possible outlets of dissemination may be presentations at conferences, journal articles, and a book. Although your participation in this research may not benefit you personally, it will help us understand how well women understood the health crisis at the time, and how well information about Toxic Shock Syndrome is disseminated.

There are no risks to individuals participating in this survey beyond those that exist in daily life. However, since this research is about products related to menstruation, some people may feel uncomfortable discussing this topic.

If you have questions about this project, you may contact Sharra Vostral (217-333-2990) or

If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant in the study, please contact the University of Illinois Institutional Review Board at 217-333-2670 (collect calls accepted if you identify yourself as a research participant) or via email at

Please print a copy of this consent form for your records, if you so desire.

I have read and understand the above consent form, I certify that I am 18 years old or older and, by clicking the NEXT button to enter the survey, I indicate my willingness voluntarily take part in the study.

If participants are UIUC students or affiliates:

Your decision to participate, decline, or withdraw from participation will have no effect on your current status or future relations with the University of Illinois.