Posted by JTB Law Group, LLC on Friday, September 23rd, 2016
Given the widespread use of talcum powder in American households, it would be very difficult for most people to believe that this product can cause significant harm to our health. Talcum powder is used commonly by mothers, nurses and nannies to assist with diaper rash and absorb moisture. Certain people use talcum powder as a deodorant as well. Also, there are people, especially women who us baby powder to “refresh” or “freshen” their private parts with talcum in an effort to keep them clean and free from odors.
What these people do not realize is that the mineral talc, from which talcum powder is extracted, has been linked to the development of ovarian cancer. This is a problem that can not and should no longer be ignored. Women who are aware of this danger and have suffered from the talcum-ovarian cancer link are already suing drug makers for marketing talcum powder as a harmless intimate personal hygiene product, even though statistically there has been shown to be at least at 30% increase in cancer.
Uses of Talcum Powder
Talcum powder has been used for generations in American bathrooms and nurseries. The skin care industry has found great use for talcum powder in a wide range of products. For instance, adult males and females use talcum powder in the form of medicated powders, deodorant powders, perfumed powders, foot powders, body powders, sanitary pads, face powders and powdered eye shadow among other products. Given its prevalence in our personal care products, it would be quite a challenge for the average consumer to avoid the use of talcum powder and replace the aforementioned products with safer alternatives.
There are a number of health safety issues that a regular user of talcum powder is likely to face. Problems in the respiratory system are certainly worth a mention here. The use of talc can lead to permanent or temporary respiratory problems, especially in infants. This is the specific reason why the use of talc containing powder products has been discouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition to that, a number of different private paediatricians have advised parents against the use of talcum powders on their newborn babies.
This is another health complication that stems from the use of talcum powder. When the powder is applied on any part of the body, the particles of talc become airborne. Inhaling these talc particles can lead to problems such as wheezing, breathing difficulties and coughing. In certain cases, exposure to talc particles can give rise to acute or chronic lung irritation, a condition which is medically referred to as talcosis. If the word talcosis seems like it originates from Talc – it does, just like the condition itself.
Pneumonia, Asthma Symptoms and Lung Cancer
Research suggests that long term exposure to talc can lead to pneumonia and set off asthma symptoms in people who have a heightened sensitivity to foreign particles. According to the information provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), miners, millers and people of other professions where exposure to talc is an everyday occurrence suffer from an increased risk of chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer. These baby powder side effects coupled with talcum powder’s alarming ability to elevate the risk of ovarian cancer makes talc a serious public health concern in the United States and abroad.