Talcum powder was used for decades for infants and adults to help keep them dry. It’s much less popular since it’s become known talcum powder may be contaminated with asbestos, a cancer-causing mineral fiber. As more product liability lawsuits are filed, talcum powder’s popularity and availability have declined.
Why Shouldn’t I Use Talcum Powder?
Talc is a soft mineral. After the raw talc is ground and milled, the ground talc is used in a variety of products. Talc itself isn’t the problem. The issue is it’s often found with asbestos, a mineral fiber. It may not be completely filtered out from the powdered talc consumers buy. Asbestos is a cancer-causing substance. If you inhale enough of it, you may develop lung cancer, mesothelioma, and laryngeal cancer.
Mesothelioma (or meso for short) is not common but only has two known causes – asbestos and high radiation levels. It can occur in the chest’s pleura (a membrane covering the lungs) and abdominal tissues. It can take years or decades from asbestos exposure to meso developing. The body’s immune system can’t eliminate or destroy asbestos fibers, so they remain. They can cause changes to cells’ DNA, which results in malignant mutations. Meso quickly progresses and is fatal.
Applying anything containing talc (along with its asbestos contaminants) can result in powder particles moving through the vagina. They may eventually enter the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. One study estimated genital use of talc increased ovarian cancer risk by a third. That risk shrank the longer a woman didn’t use talcum powder in the genital area.
About 28,000 women claiming they’re harmed by Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder have filed suit against them. The company is trying to resolve these cases through the bankruptcy process.
What May Work Instead of Talcum Powder?
Several possible alternatives can be used alone or mixed together. You may find your favorite brand of talcum powder has switched to another ingredient, probably cornstarch.
Cornstarch is the main ingredient in many baby powders that advertise themselves as talc-free. You can also buy cornstarch in the baking section of your grocery store and apply it with a powdered sugar shaker or just take it out of the box. It’s a carbohydrate extracted from part of the corn kernel.
Arrowroot powder is another option similar to flour (it thickens soups too). It’s made of starches from various tropical tubers, including the arrowroot plant. Arrowroot powder is more expensive than cornstarch. It may be harder to find at your local store, but it’s available online.
Baking soda absorbs moisture and odor but may be harsh on sensitive skin. If that’s the case, don’t use it or mix it with cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Oat flour is another option, but it’s rougher on the skin and costs more than cornstarch. Rice flour has absorbent properties and provides some protection against diaper rash. It’s made of finely ground rice, so it isn’t as soft as other materials.
You need not rely on just one ingredient if you find it’s not what you’re looking for. You can create your own baby powder by mixing these ingredients in different quantities.
Reach Out to Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP If A Dangerous Product injures you
If you believe you’re harmed by asbestos-contaminated talcum powder or another product, the skilled attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP have helped hundreds in Houston and throughout Texas get the compensation they deserve.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer from our personal injury and defective product law firm.