Talc: Hidden Danger of Baby Powder

Talc: Hidden Danger of Baby Powder

By: Arlene Gentallan

Talc: Hidden Danger of Baby Powder
Talc: Hidden Danger of Baby Powder

        Talc or talcum is extensively used in baby powder and cosmetics. It is an excellent moisture absorb-er which keeps the skin dry and soft while preventing awful rashes from forming.  Because of it's convenience, no wonder it has staggering use worldwide, but there's something about it that you should be wary of.

        Although shrouded with debates and controversy, there are compelling evidence based on several studies that talc is indeed a carcinogenic compound. Prolong inhalation of talc increases the risk of developing lung cancer and it's regular use on women's private part can increase the risk of acquiring ovarian cancer.

        In 1992, Obstetrics & Gynecology published a report where they stated that use of talc on genitals increases risk of women to develop ovarian cancer by threefold.

        Naturally occurring talc contains asbestos, a potent carcinogen with a strong linkage to lung cancer when inhaled. Even with today's quality control to ensure it is asbestos-free, it still is still considered toxic.

        And the crushing part is, many are still not aware of this. Manufacturers seldom tell about this health risk because the public will no longer buy their products. With all the research and studies done, it seems like the public is not well aware of talc's health risks. Think about it, wouldn't it be too dangerous for baby to use talc-based powder?

Lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson

        Among the many cases where talc-based products is linked to development of cancer, Jackie Fox's case is a wake-up call. Jackie Fox of Birmingham, Alabama died at the age of 62 last October 2015, more than 3 years after being diagnosed of ovarian cancer. She used pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson talc-based powder for almost 35 years.

        St. Louis jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay damages of $72 million to Jackie Fox' family. "Jurors found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy"

        Her case is the first to get justice among more than a thousand women who sued Johnson & Johnson for not warning consumers of the danger of talc-based products.

        The health risk of talc has sparked much controversy and contradicting facts. There are countries that recognizes this risk. The use of talc has been banned in European Union countries.

The controversy

        According to Cancer Research UK "All in all, there is some suggestion from existing studies that talcum powder is associated with a higher risk of ovarian cancer but the evidence isn’t very strong."

        The National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated on it's rodent studies that "there was some evidence of carcinogenic activity of talc in male F344/N rats" "clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of talc in female F344/N rats." and "no evidence of carcinogenic activity of talc in male or female B6C3F1 mice exposed to 6 or 18 mg/m3"

        Whether or not talc is carcinogenic to humans raises much debate, but will you want to use a product whose name is already tainted by endless debates and speculations.

Better safe than sorry...

Health Tips:

  • Don't take chances, use talc-free products.
  • Read the ingredient of beauty and cosmetic products to ensure talc or talcum is not one of them.
  • Instead of using talc-based baby powder to prevent diaper rash, you can use cornstarch in it's place.