Does baby powder cause cancer? A California jury thinks so.
It ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed she developed terminal ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder.1
Eva Echeverria, 63, said Johnson & Johnson encouraged women to use its talcum-based products for years despite knowing of studies linking them to ovarian cancer. The company says studies and federal agencies have not found that talc products are carcinogenic.
Echeverria’s case is only the beginning. There are 4,800 other claims across the country from people who say talc-based products gave them cancer.
What does the science say? The results are mixed.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies talcum powders as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The American Cancer Society says studies are unclear whether the talc increases a person’s cancer risk.2
Talcum powder has not been rigorously tested because it’s classified as a cosmetic. Therefore, it doesn’t have to be reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration like a medication.
Talcum, commonly called talc, is a mineral. It is finely ground to create a powder. Cancer is not the only health issue tied to it.
The powder easily becomes airborne. Users or others close by can inhale it. Inhalation can lead to pneumonia and inflammation of the airways… Even death in babies. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends not using talc on babies.3 4
Why take the chance? Don’t use powders containing talc on yourself or children. There are plenty of safe, non-talc alternatives to choose from.
3 Safe Alternatives:
Here are three talc-free “baby powders” that won’t put you at risk for ovarian cancer. While they might cost more money, it’s worth the peace of mind.5
Avalon Organics Cornstarch Baby Powder ($10): This hypoallergenic product contains cornstarch, baking powder, chamomile, calendula, and organic aloe.
Burt’s Bees – Baby Bee Dusting Powder ($7): This product works well on adults and babies. It contains baking soda, powdered rosebuds, myrrh, natural clay, and slippery elm bark.
California Baby Non-Talc Calming Powder ($10): This lavender-scented powder is made from natural kaolin clay, bentonite clay, and cornstarch.
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