Baby products, like baby powder, have long been considered to be gentle and safe, but new information and a slew of lawsuits are proving your favorite talcum powder may be anything but. Moms and anyone who uses talcum powder need to know that some of these products have tested positive for traces of the carcinogenic mineral asbestos.
What is Talc and Asbestos?
Talc and asbestos are both minerals that can be mined and used in a variety of products and materials. Talc is ground down into a fine powder that provides protection against friction and moisture absorption, which has made it a desirable material for body powders and baby powders.
Asbestos is now heavily regulated and restricted, but it was once used extensively in a variety of industries, especially construction, manufacturing, and shipbuilding. It was found to be carcinogenic and to be linked to several health problems, especially the deadly and rare cancer known as pleural mesothelioma.
When fibers of asbestos are inhaled or ingested they pierce tissues in the body and may cause cellular damage that leads to cancer. Asbestos can cause pleural mesothelioma around the lungs, peritoneal mesothelioma in the abdomen, lung cancer, and a respiratory disease called asbestosis.
Is There Asbestos in Talcum Powder?
It is well known that talc deposits in the earth are often contaminated with asbestos. Manufacturers are supposed to ensure that their talcum powder products have been purified, that there is no longer any asbestos lurking in them by the time they get to consumers. And yet there is evidence that talcum powder products you buy at the store may contain asbestos. In fact, one study actually tested several different products made with talc and found that many baby powders did have asbestos fibers.