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Talc. What is it? Why are we mad at it?

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

Talcum powder, also known as talc, is found in many everyday things you probably have at

home in your drawer from eyeshadow, blush, face powders, to deodorant. Talc is also the

number one ingredient in baby powder which many women like to prevent chafing and to

freshen up the “downstairs area” (and men too, we don’t judge.) Whatever you may use it for, you probably weren't aware that you may be putting yourself at risk. There are many claims that the main ingredient in talcum powder, talc, is potentially harmful.

So what exactly is Talc?

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral made up of the elements

magnesium, silicon and oxygen. In powder form, it absorbs moisture well and helps reduce

friction, making it useful for preventing chafing and rashes and keeping areas of the skin dry. Its super soft, powdery consistency makes it a perfect anti-caking agent and is why it's in almost every makeup product you can think of.

So, what's the problem then?

Talc in its natural form often contains asbestos, a highly toxic element that should never be inhaled. Exposure to asbestos is known to cause inflammation and scarring to the lungs, and even a serious form of cancer called mesothelioma.Yikes.

Not only is it bad for lungs, but it has also been linked to ovarian cancer as well. Over

the last couple decades, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against big brands like Johnson & Johnson claiming that the long term use of baby powder lead to the development in ovarian cancer, and researchers have found talc particles embedded in the ovarian tissue of women who used the product near the genital area. These are some pretty serious claims.

So, why TF are companies still using this in their products?!

Well, to put it simply, because they can. The FDA does not recognize talc as a carcinogen (a cancer causing substance) because there is not yet enough study done on the subject to prove that it is harmful, but how many other things ARE approved by the FDA that shouldn't be ( cigarettes are totally safe right?) And honestly, talc is pretty inexpensive, and the money-hungry corporations would rather put the consumer at risk than use safer ingredients in their products. Tsk Tsk. The problem with talcum powder is that it is in so many of the essential things we use every day, so it can be hard to avoid.

So what can we do?

The good news is that there are safer alternatives and many up and coming brands are starting to get with the program and choosing to omit talc from their products. Cornstarch, baking soda, and arrowroot powder for example, are just a few substances that provide the same effect as talc, and they're all natural and much safer for you.

In conclusion, talcum powder sucks. There may not be a ton of concrete evidence

that it is dangerous, but we’d rather not risk it. We recommend using caution while using any

products containing talc, and suggest trying many of the other alternatives available.

#naturalproducts #handmadeisbetter

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