Let's Talk About Talcum Powder

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Talc is found in a wide variety of consumer products ranging from cosmetics to

garden pesticides.

Because talc is resistant to moisture, it is also used by the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture medications and is a listed ingredient of some antacids.

However, the products most widely used and that pose the most serious health risks are perfumed body powders. Talc is the main ingredient in baby powder. (More on keeping baby safe a little later on) Talc can also be found in eyeshadow, foundation, facial powder, sunscreen, makeup, blush, concealer, bronzer/highlighter, mascara, eyeliner and antiperspirant.

Talc is a mineral, produced by the mining of talc rocks and then processed by crushing, drying and milling. Processing eliminates a number of trace minerals from the talc, but does not separate minute fibers which are very similar to asbestos.

According to The Cancer Prevention Coalitiontalc is closely related to the potent carcinogen asbestos. Talc particles have been shown to cause tumors in the ovaries and lungs of cancer victims. For the last 30 years, scientists have closely scrutinized talc particles and found dangerous similarities to asbestos.

Responding to this evidence in 1973, the FDA drafted a resolution that would limit the amount of asbestos-like fibers in cosmetic grade talc. However, no ruling has ever been made and today, cosmetic grade talc remains non-regulated by the federal government. This inaction ignores a 1993 National Toxicology Program report which found that cosmetic grade talc, without any asbestos-like fibers, caused tumors in animal subjects.

An excerpt from Wikipedia says: "Several studies have established preliminary links between talc and pulmonary issues, lung cancer, skin cancer and ovarian cancer . This is a major concern considering talc's widespread commercial and household use. In 1993, a US National Toxicology Program report found that cosmetic grade talc caused tumours in rats (animal testing) forced to inhale talc for 6 hours a day, five days a week over at least 113 weeks, even though it contained no asbestos -like fibres. Scientists have been aware of the toxicity of talc since the late 1960s, and in 1971 researchers found particles of talc embedded in 75% of the ovarian tumors studied."

Although the article goes on to say that the FDA considers talc that does not contain potentially carcinogenic abestiform amphibole fibers to be generally safe, cosmetic grade talc however, remains non-regulated by the federal government to this day.


According to MedlinePlus which brings together authoritative information from National Library of Medicine , the National Institutes of Health , and other government agencies and health-related organizations, talc is a poisonous ingredient found in some antiseptics and talcum powder. Most symptoms are caused by accidental or long-term breathing in (inhaling) of talc dust, especially in infants. Breathing problems are the most common problems.

Keeping Baby Safe

After checking the ratings for Baby Powder on the Skin Deep Database, the safest baby powders listed contain organic arrowroot powder or cornstarch. You can make your own by combining equal parts of cornstarch and arrowroot powder. Be sure to check out Skin Deep for the safest baby oils, lotions and wipes to keep your precious baby safe.!


Why then do the cosmetics industry still use talc in their products when they know that it is harmful? It's cheap and plentiful.


READ the ingredients list the next time you buy face powders, powder blush, powder bronzers, body shimmer powders, etc. Although a product may claim to be "pure" or "natural" or "mineral-based", it may still contain iffy ingredients such as talc.

Many companies today are aware of the talc problem and are moving toward change. Look to www.cosmeticsdatabase.com for top rated companies from which to buy the safest facial powders available.