Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dangers of Talc Powder

Talc powder. We all know what it is right? I don’t believe we do or we still would not be using it, especially on our babies.

Talc powder is actually a mineral derived from talc rocks. The rock are crushed and dried before milling. Then trace minerals are extracted from the talc powder during processing; however, talc contains tiny fibers that are too small to be eliminated during processing. These fibers have a similar structure to asbestos.

Did you know, Talc powder has been linked to ovarian cancer? The Cancer Prevention Coalition in Chicago claims that regular talc powder usage in the groin area increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Talc powder has been found in malignant tumor cells from ovarian cancer patients.

But worse yet is the danger to infants and children, when they inhale it into their lungs. The particles are tiny enough to enter deep into the lung tissues and elicit an inflammatory response. This results in breathing difficulties, swelling of the airways, pneumonia, asphyxiation or death. According to a report made by the Nassau County Medical Center in East Meadow, NY, there are close to 50 local poison control calls per year concerning small children inhaling talc powder.

Baby powder is the most common product on the market containing talc powder, but it is also found in women's hygiene products, including sanitary napkins, panty liners and deodorant powders. It is a common ingredient in scented bath and body powders and deodorant, and can be found in small amounts in chalk, soap, flea powder, pesticides, insulation and paper.

So be an informed consumer. Do your research and decide if you want to use talc or not. I did mine and that is why I created a talc free alternative to use on my granddaughter Hailey and myself.

More information on dangers of Talc:
Cancer Prevention Coalition

Talcum Powder: The Hidden Dangers

Understand Hidden Dangers of Talc Powder


  1. Please check your facts before making wild, alarmist statements about the dangers of talc. If you consult any mineralogical website you will discover that talc does not occur in fibrous form only as soft, flat platelets so its structure doesn't resemble asbestos at all. Asbestos fibers are a known carcinogen but there is no evidence linking pure talc directly to cancer.

    Although claims have been made that talc powder has been linked to ovarian cancer the link is very tenuous since there are so many other possible causes and risk factors. It is impossible to prove conclusively that talc causes even some of the cases of ovarian cancer that occur.

    Inhaling any form of dust is highly inadvisable and could be damaging to your health but if talc is applied properly there is no risk of inhaling particles if it is applied correctly.

    Your link to the site "Cancer Prevention Coalition" is a waste of time since the website permits no dialog and makes wild, unsubstantiated claims in support of its own agenda.

    By the way talc is used in large amounts in paper, in paints and in plastics (including plastics used for packaging food) and even in pharmaceuticals and chewing gum.

  2. Everyone has an opinion yet I see no expertise connected to your name, axelde, leading back to a nearly blank website page. You'd have more credibility if you were transparent. Makes you appear as if you may be an industry hack, which is perhaps unfair to you.

    It looks as if you read half of the Wikipedia site and called it a day. I'm not sure that's a very good way to make your decisions, but that is up to you.

    Certainly you have no cause to reprimand the writer for offering this information. Experts still have questions, and experiments with regard to lung cancer have shown that even without the asbestos fibers, tumors occurred.

    If you are basing your position on the FDA's approval of Talc for use in, whatever, the FDA has proven themselves to exist to protect industry, not people. This may be because they have not much actual expertise in the many foods and drugs they oversee and must take industry's science on safety until it is proven otherwise, making all of us unwitting participants in product experiments. Remember tobacco? And propylene glycol, used as a less toxic substitute in anti-freeze than it's cousin ethylene glycol is in pet foods and treats because it's the cheapest form of sweetener used to make product soft. Teflon is another product I would not recommend (plastics are so yummy, why not cook in them especially with high heat).

    It's fine if you don't like Cancer Prevention Coalition because they won't talk to you. They are not the only group offering such warnings. We are all capable of looking into things for ourselves.

    For many years...what, a decade or more,the tobacco industry lied to their customers and to Congress. There was no "conclusive scientific evidence" for that product, either. Often companies will not allow independent scientists to check their work, claiming "proprietary information." Would you go shaking talc based powder on your baby girl if another alternative without talc were available(which it is)?

    Time and again, industries have proved themselves to be interested only in their bottom line. Scientific evidence takes time. Money, industry leadership, as well as country leadership in industries is dependent on being first to market. New products would be years and years to market and companies as well as the US can't/won't endure that financially.

    I'll give you that many many companies are honestly trying to produce great products. There are always bad actors and we as consumers are only in control of our own choices.

  3. Mary, thank you for your comments, as I could not have said it better myself.
    I stand by my convictions, and we don’t use talcum powder. I only pass on the information I have to give people something to think about and research on their own. Its up to the consumer to decide what they want to use after they have been educated or given food for thought.