Legal Guide

What is talcum powder and why could it be bad for your health?

Talcum Powder is a widely used beauty and health product. Several studies have been running for many years, exploring the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Despite health warnings, many corporations failed to act, continuing to sell talcum powder without warning consumers about the potential dangers. In this article, we are going to explore what talcum powder is made of, why it could be potentially dangerous and what you should do about it. 

If you are reading this article because you have been using talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer then you should talk to a talcum powder lawyer for a review of your case.

What is talcum powder?

Talcum powder is a toiletry product, often referred to as baby powder. It is made from talc, which is a soft natural mineral and has been used for thousands of years, becoming widely consumed in the 1800s. It is also used in beauty products such as makeup. 

Talcum powder talc is used by consumers to absorb moisture and prevent friction. It is used on children when they get out of the bath, on babies when their nappies are changed, and some women also use it on their genitals as a feminine hygiene product. This is where risks have been found.  

How does talcum powder lead to cancer? 

Talc itself is not thought to be dangerous. However, when talc is extracted from the earth it can become contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos fibers are proven to cause cancer in some people. Mesothelioma is cancer usually associated with asbestos and is a result of people inhaling it into their lungs. However, there is now evidence that asbestos can also be dangerous when it comes into contact with female genitalia.  

This evidence has resulted in several lawsuits. In July 2018 Johnson & Johnson were made to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women and their families whose cancer was linked to their use of their talcum powder. Johnson & Johnson were found to be negligent as links to their product and cancer have been known about since the 1970s and yet they failed to act. 

The European Union has now banned the use of talc in beauty products. Johnson & Johnson have changed the ingredients in their baby powder and now use corn-starch as the staple ingredient instead of talc. Corn-starch is a good alternative as it is less likely to be inhaled and has no risk of being cross-contaminated with asbestos. 

What should you do?

Firstly, there is no need to use talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product. Warm water alone is sufficient to keep yourself clean as your body has its natural ways of dealing with things. If you are eager to use something to keep yourself feeling fresh, then try an alternative such as baking soda or corn-starch. 

If you have been using talcum powder for a long time and are concerned about your health or any link to current health issues, then you should consult your doctor. 

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