Is Talcum Powder Really Toxic?

Is Talcum Powder Really Toxic?

Even though talc has been used for many generations, it was only in 2003 that its safety came into question, when a Stage III ovarian cancer survivor who had used talcum products for 30 years, took on a company that produces a popular baby powder, citing a link between the two.

That lawsuit resulted in thousands of women filing their own cases. There are currently over 21,800 active talc lawsuits from people who have developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma citing a link between those diseases and the use of talcum powder.

If talc could be the culprit for life-threatening diseases, why is it still an ingredient in hundreds of products? Let's clear up the confusion: talc, a mineral mined from rocks, isn't itself toxic. The problem is that those rocks often contain asbestos, a fiber that when aspired can cause damage to the lungs. When those rocks are broken or crushed, asbestos is released in the air and can contaminate the talcum powder.

The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified talcum powder as a possible carcinogenic in 2006, but many talcum powder products are still readily available, with no warning label on them. And it's not just baby powder. Talc is still utilized in many everyday products, like paint, paper, rubber, and other cosmetics.

Many personal care products, including natural brands, that still use talc, claim their formula is free of contamination. But if you want to be sure you're safe, you’re probably better off using personal care products that don’t include it. At Madame Lemy, we opted for not using talc at all––why risk it? Instead, we utilize a mix of cornstarch and arrowroot powder that is just as absorbent as talc and is 100% safe.

Even if you decide to go with a different brand, we want to empower you to make better choices when choosing personal care products. Next time you're shopping online or in a drugstore aisle, make sure to read the ingredients label to decide what's best for you and your family.