This Revelation May Shake You to the Core
When I was a little girl, my grandmother kept a box of scented talcum powder on her dressing table. On special occasions, she would open the box and put a little powder on the puff, and daub it on my shoulders, arms and legs. When I was a young mother, I would take my babies out of the bath, towel them off and pat them with baby powder. When I think of that scented powder, it brings back such lovely memories.
That’s why the recent revelations about the potentially life-threatening effects of talc have left me, and people all over the world, stunned. If you have not yet heard, it is because, until recently, the facts have been carefully hidden. Talc is a highly carcinogenic chemical, and studies dating back as early as the 1970s show it is implicated in the development of deadly cancers.
In fact, there are more than 20 studies indicating women may increase their risk of ovarian cancer from 30 to 90 percent by applying talcum powder on their genital area. In a 1971 study, British researchers found talc particles embedded in most of the ovarian tumors they examined. Research conducted in 2008 found using talc only once a week elevated a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by 36 percent, while daily users faced a 41 percent higher risk.
The law firm of Robinson Calcagnie, which represents women suing for damages from cancer, issued the following statement:
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC] has designated ‘perineal [genital] use of talc-based body powder is possibly carcinogenic to humans.
However, manufacturers of talc-containing products, such as [J&J] and its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products, have refused to acknowledge the link between talc and ovarian cancer and have failed [to] adequately warn consumers of the risks.
Now, more than 1,000 women across the country have filed lawsuits against [J&J] and its talc distributor Imerys, claiming the companies knew of the association between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer yet failed to adequately warn consumers.
You may wonder why the Food and Drug Administration did not warn consumers of these dangers during the past four decades? The answer is that the FDA does not approve ingredients in cosmetics in advance. Only after a product is found unsafe, adulterated or incorrectly branded will the FDA take regulatory action. Not only does the FDA not require safety testing of chemicals, it does not mandate that manufacturers share any information they have regarding human safety with the FDA.
Instead, public safety from chemicals in cosmetic and hygiene products remains in the hands of the manufacturers, who have a financial incentive to hide the facts. Johnson & Johnson cultivates its reputation as a family company that is “baby friendly.” It sells a wide range of feminine hygiene and baby products. Yet it buried the dangers of some of its best-selling products, and made a profit while lives were endangered.
Check your bathroom and your dressing table, and tell your family and friends. If you have any talc-based cosmetics or baby products, it’s time to throw them away.