Talcum Powder Cancer Report

Talcum Powder Cancer Report

It seems like news reports are constantly warning of the next big cancer threat from what you thought was a benign product. Currently, the new target is the dangers of one of the most innocent and trusted household items, talcum powder.

This is something people have been using for years, dousing themselves and their children in its familiar scent for that fresh, absorbent, after bath feeling. Now, it may be linked to ovarian cancer as well the possibility of other health risks.

The Mineral 

Talc is a mineral made from magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. It is naturally occurring in the form of a soft rock material that is easily produced through open pit mining.

In the United States it is found in the Appalachian Mountains as well as Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.

Talc Use

Although most think of talcum powder used as a body product it can also be found in many other applications which include paper making, plastic, paint and coatings, rubber, food, candy, electric cable, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and ceramics.

A less refined version of talc can also be found in the production of stoves, sinks, electrical switchboards, crayons, and soap.

Past Warnings

It turns out that talcum powder hasn’t always been the innocent household product so many have trusted for years. In the past it has been linked to containing asbestos.

Way back in 1973, mounting evidence caused the FDA to investigate the presence of asbestos-like fibers in talc dust, particularly from the derived chemicals found in talc called tremolite and anthophyllite. However, it was just an investigation prompting no warnings until the 1990’s. Most talcum powder is now asbestos free however some believe that certain brands still contain traces of this cancer causing compound.

In fact, according to Natural News, “…from the early 1980s accidental inhalation of talc (baby powder) has caused the death or serious illness of several thousands infants.”

Finally, as a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated a warning to parents not to use baby powder due to it potential risk of lung damage due to small particles found in the air when applied. Yet, little was done to get the warning out, another sign of corporate greed and cover up.

The Ovarian Cancer Link

CBS News reported on May 3rd, 2016 that,

“a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer, which she claimed was caused by using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder.”

Also, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) an offshoot of the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement that continued use of talcum powder on the genital area is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.

Dr. Daniel Cramer, Director of the OB/GYN Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston testified in the case of the St. Louis woman stating that,

“There have been more than 20 epidemiologic studies and a majority of these have found an elevated risk, and when you combine those risks into a single estimate, it is highly significant.”

Johnson & Johnson still stands behind their product despite the evidence showing how it caused ovarian cancer and subsequently knowing of its potential risks for decades.

Talcum Alternatives

Even though large corporations like Johnson can easily swat a $72 million dollar verdict (most likely reducing it upon appeal which could extend the case for years), there are other choices besides its shelf dominating product.

Some talcum alternatives include:

  • Arrowroot Powder
  • Chickpea Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Corn Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Rice Flour
  • Oat Flour
  • French Green Clay, Finely Ground
  • White Clay, Finely Ground
  • Powdered Calendula Blossoms
  • Powdered Lavender Buds
  • Powdered Rose Petals
  • Powdered Chamomile Flowers
  • Powdered Neem Herbs

Some of these may seem inconceivable yet, for centuries, they have all been used in one way or another. Check your local mom and pop health food store for talcum powder alternatives or attempt to make some at home. All it takes is finding your source, mixing and grinding it, adding fragrance and putting it in a resealable container for home use.

Sometimes becoming too comfortable in the purchase of Big Corp products could keep you blind to the many dangers associated with them. Try to stay as close to nature as possible when using body products as well as maintaining a healthy diet. Overall, it is your responsibility to protect yourself as many popular choices may be hiding significant research that is simply considered collateral risk.