Ever wonder what the difference is between talcum powder vs. baby powder? In many cases, the way manufacturers market baby powder and talcum powder — and the scents they add to them — are the only differences between the two types of powder. In the past, almost all baby powders contained talcum powder. Today many still include talc as a component. For example, one of the most popular brands of baby powder in the United States, Johnson & Johnson, is a combination of just two ingredients: talc and parfum.
What is talcum powder?
Talcum powder is nothing more than a finely ground mineral, talc. Manufacturers bottle the ground mineral, add some type of fragrance, and market it for a wide range of uses. Many people use the powder for cosmetic and hygienic uses.
Talc contains several elements that make it absorb moisture when used in powder form. It helps keep skin dry and prevents chafing, rashes, and other moisture- and friction-related problems. Talc is a common component in baby, body, and facial powders. You can even buy medicated talcum powders and those with special scents to help with everything from itch relief to relaxation.
When is baby powder not the same thing as talcum powder?
Manufacturers originally designed baby powder to prevent diaper rash by keeping the baby dry.
The formula varies by manufacturer, but the primary ingredient in baby powder is typically either talc or cornstarch. Some baby powder manufacturers swapped to a cornstarch base over the last few decades; some, however, continue to use a talc base.
Why is talcum powder dangerous?
Talc particles are much finer than cornstarch particles, and therefore much easier to inhale. For this reason, baby powder manufacturers have long recommended keeping the product out of the reach of children. Inhaling talcum powder can cause irritation, sinus inflammation, and even chronic lung issues.
Various studies have pointed to a link between talc-based baby powder and ovarian cancer that does not exist with cornstarch-based powders. Arguably, the most well-known research is that by Daniel Cramer, one of the first researchers to link ovarian cancer and talc use.
Talcum powder and its potential to cause cancer has become a hot topic in recent years because of the number of lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson, one of the most well-known producers of talcum powder products. Several court rulings awarded large settlements to women who developed cancer after using these products for feminine hygiene.
What should I do if I believe talcum powder use caused my ovarian cancer?
Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. is offering free case evaluations to women who regularly used a talc-based powder for feminine hygiene and later developed ovarian cancer, or the families of those who passed away from this disease.
Call our Toledo office today at 419-843-6663 to speak to one of our talcum powder attorneys. We will analyze the facts of your case, and help you better understand your legal options.