There has been a serious dust-up around the use of talcum powder over the past few years. While most of us have a grandmother, mother, auntie or friend who has sworn by this “baby powder,” several studies have labeled the household staple a persistent carcinogen. This has resulted in thousands of women who have long used the powder to prevent chafing and to ward off moisture “down there” filing lawsuits against big name brands – Johnson & Johnson, in particular – for allegedly marketing and distributing the product while being aware of its adverse health effects.
Since then, juries have awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in damages — most recently a record-breaking $417 million judgement against Johnson’s Baby Powder in favor of Eva Echeverria who is suffering from terminal ovarian cancer. While some studies are still out on whether talcum powder can be directly linked to cancer, others report a 33% increase of risk with regular use. The links between the two have been ongoing since the 1970s, with asbestos even being found in some talc-based products.
This, of course, comes on the heels of study after study proving that many beauty products – especially those targeted to women of color – are toxic and detrimental to our health. However, Johnson & Johnson maintains the powder’s safety and has not pulled it from shelves in the US (though it has since been banned in other countries). As such, many of its tried and true users either don’t know about the ongoing litigations or don’t care and choose to still purchase and swear by the moisture absorbing powder.
Where do you stand on the issue? Are you still using Johnson’s Baby Powder or other talcum powder in your hair and beauty regimens? Or have you sworn off it altogether? Sound off below.