We all know that soothing, fresh smell of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder. Many of us grew up using this product and associate it with smiling babies and a sense of feeling clean. Unfortunately , things aren’t as innocent as they seem.

Talcum powder is dangerous--use in your hair can be poisonous!
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Johnson & Johnson has known for decades that studies have shown that their talcum powders could be dangerous or even fatal to their customers, but they have failed to add a warning to their packaging. In a study from 1971 led by Dr. W.J. Henderson in Cardiff, Wales, his research team found that 75% of all tumors in the ovaries contained talc and determined that if talc-based body powder is applied to the genitals, it could migrate through the body and potentially cause ovarian cancer. Many other studies have been conducted over the past decades confirming the various risks that are associated with talcum powder, yet Johnson & Johnson still refuses to put a warning label on their product to inform consumers of the potential for ovarian cancer and lung disorders.

Using Talcum Powder In Your Hair

Many experts have advised that daily washings can dry out the hair and scalp which have caused an increase in the demand for dry shampoos. However, the average dry shampoo at a big box store averages $7 and one that you purchase at a salon can cost $20 or more. Why not use talcum powder to save money and get the same results?

Unfortunately, talcum powder can be extremely dangerous so close to your face. Talcum powder poisoning is a real issue that may occur when someone breathes in or swallows talcum powder. When you use these products near your face, you can inhale the fine particles which can enter your lungs causing fits of coughing, throat irritation, chest pain, difficulty breathing, wheezing or lung failure. Flour, cornstarch or other dry shampoos that don’t contain talc are better options.

Using Talcum Powder On Your Face

Talcum powder has also been incorporated into many women’s beauty routines as a face powder to reduce shine and to set make-up. It’s also found in a variety of eye shadow, blush and other powder-based make-up because of its anti-caking properties and it dilutes the concentration of the pigment so the product can be smoothly applied to the skin.

In 1993, the National Toxicology Program conducted a study on mice to determine the effects of inhaling talc. They found that, “In mice, inhalation exposure to talc produced chronic inflammation of the lungs.” There was “clear evidence” that the female rats had increased instances of cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the lungs. If this can happen to mice, do you want to take the chance of this happening to you?

Avoid Using Talcum Powder

Talcum powder has been controversial for decades and countless studies have linked it to ovarian cancer and lung disorders. While many companies (including Johnson & Johnson) fail to acknowledge these reports, it certainly is better to be safe than sorry. There are countless other products that work just as well without the threat of injury. You can avoid using talc by looking for products that are cornstarch based or that have a label that says “talc free”. You can still look and feel great without putting your health at risk.

“Behind the $55 Million Verdict: Johnson & Johnson Knew About Talcum Powder Cancer Risks Since the 1970s”. Huffington Post. Accessed October 17, 2017. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-bodine/behind-the-55-million-ver_b_9833366.html
“Talcum Powder Poisoning”. New York Times Health Guide. Accessed October 17, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/poison/talcum-powder/overview.html
“Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Talc (CAS No. 14807-96-6)(Non-Asbestiform) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Inhalation Studies)”. National Toxicology Program. Accessed October 17, 2017. https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/pubs/longterm/reports/longterm/tr400499/abstracts/tr421/index.html