Recent lawsuits and research found that baby powder can cause cancer. Other experts claim baby powder can be safely used. But with the lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products, one can only wonder if they are safe to use, or they should stop using them.
According to Morgan Statt who is an investigator with ConsumerSafety.org, “studies and expert opinions still fall on both sides of the argument.”
In the baby powder composition, there is talcum powder, which is created from mineral talc. Starting with the 1970s, many studies have linked ovarian cancer to women that used talc on their genital area. One of the studies found that 75% of ovarian cancer tumors contained talc. Other studies showed that using talcum powder near the genitals could increase the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer by 20-30%. Statt explains that talc particles in the baby powder can “travel through the vagina and inflame ovarian tissues,” and that in time, “cysts may develop and lead to the diagnosis.”
Baby Powder Containing Talcum – Dangerous for Infants
Moreover, research shows that baby powder dries out mucus membranes, and it can lead to respiratory diseases (asthma, lung fibrosis, pneumonia, pulmonary talcosis, and even respiratory failure).
The American Academy of Pediatrics started in 1969 to warn parents about the dangers caused after using talcum powder on babies. In its natural form, talc can contain asbestos – known to cause a deadly type of cancer (mesothelioma).
Even if it was proven it’s not safe, prospective studies never found a connection between baby powder and cancer. This is why companies still use talc in baby powder, makeup, deodorants, supplements, and vitamins.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer stated that talc is “non-carcinogenic” when inhaled and it is “possibly carcinogenic” if applied to the genital area. Meanwhile, Cancer Research UK sees no legitimate link between cancer and talcum.
Statt agrees that the scientific and legal communities still debate if talcum powder is safe to use, but “that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take caution.”
A safe alternative to talcum powder are products that replace talcum with cornstarch and arrowroot powder.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.