Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined all over the world. For the most part this substance is completely inert. That means it has no detrimental effects on the body or the environment. But if it is used improperly, it can have devastating effects. The biggest problem is that the public has never been warned about the true effects of using this product.
Talcum Powder Used for Diaper Rash
For decades babies around the world have had talcum powder sprinkled on their rear ends. Because babies are in diapers all day and all night, with little airflow, they can get wet very easily. Wet skin has a tendency to stick to itself, so when the baby is crawling, wiggling, and moving about the skin starts to stick. It can then start to chafe, and before long diaper rash has occurred. This rash can be painful and difficult to get rid of, so instead of letting the diaper rash occur, parents seek to avoid it.
The problem with using talcum powder, or commonly called baby powder, is that the powder is so fine it easily becomes airborne. Airborne particulates are easily inhaled, especially by the baby whose face is mere inches from where the powder is being sprinkled. Once inside the lungs the powder can lead to respiratory problems that can last a lifetime.
To combat this problem there are a number of different alternative out there. There are pastes and gels that can be spread and smeared on the areas of the baby prone to diaper rash. But it seems that nothing works quite as well as talcum powder. So an alternative was invented: baby powder made with corn starch instead of talc.
Talcum Powder Used for Personal Hygiene
Many mothers, over the years, saw how well the baby powder helped to keep chafing to a minimum. They decided to use it on themselves. Every day they would sprinkle the powder on their genital region. This sprinkling helped to prevent uncomfortable chafing in what seemed like an easy and safe manner. However, there were serious problems to arise.
Using talcum powder in a perineal application can lead to ovarian cancer. This deadly cancer, which affects thousands of women every year, is painful and debilitating. And in these cases it is 100% preventable. If there were a simple warning label on the side of the talcum powder container, women everywhere would be able to avoid a deadly form of cancer.
As of this writing, there are no warnings about the respiratory effects on young children, nor on the potential for deadly ovarian cancer on women.
If you have used talcum powder for personal hygiene, it is best to stop using it right away. Find a different alternative that is safer and has less risk of your developing cancer.