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Johnson & Johnson Talcum powder

Talc And Asbestos – Partners In Cancer-Causing Crime

… To Avoid Poisoning, Avoid Products Containing Talc

By now, you might be aware of the dangers of talcum powder products, such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, thanks to the successful lawsuits that have been levied against the purveyors of this product.

But do you know why talcum powder is dangerous?

It might surprise you to know that the main danger of talc products is that there’s a high likelihood they also contain asbestos.  Talc and asbestos are frequent “traveling companions,” and that makes them cancer-causing partners in crime.

Here are a few of the facts you might not know about talc and asbestos, and the dangers these products can pose to you and your family.


  • First, if asbestos is released into the air, it presents as microscopic shards you can’t see, feel, taste, or smell.  The reason these shards are dangerous is that, with enough exposure, they embed themselves in the tissue of your lungs and cause incurable mesothelioma lung cancer.


  • Talc is not as dangerous by itself – though talc dust can still make you sick, and give you a bad cough, if you inhale enough of it.


  • But talc usually isn’t “by itself.”  Talc and asbestos form in about the same way – they’re basically rocks, found as mineral deposits in the earth.  And when you mine one (it’s legal to mine talc in the U.S.), you often get both (though it’s illegal to mine asbestos).


  • That’s how microscopic asbestos shards find their way into your talc products, often in large enough quantities to form a real danger to people who use those products.


  • You can’t tell whether the talc product you’re using also contains deadly asbestos – and neither can the manufacturers of those products.  Johnson & Johnson likely knew their talc products were dangerous, and that’s why those lawsuits hit home.


  • If you’ve stopped using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, that’s great – but you might not be out of danger.  Many other products contain talc, and there’s a scary likelihood that those products also contain asbestos.


  • Makeup and other cosmetic products are often made with talc – in fact, talc is often the primary ingredient in some of those products.  Look for talc on the label before you use those products – and throw them away if you find they contain talc.  There’s a good chance that stuff is NOT okay.


  • While most of these items are promoted as beauty products, people of all walks of life use them.  Stage actors have traditionally used lots of talc-containing products, without being aware of their dangers.


  • Foundation (base makeup), mascara, concealer, blush, lotion, face masks, lipstick, eye shadow, brow pencils, face powder, eyeliner, and any other product that’s powder based can (and probably does) contain talc.  That means it likely contains asbestos, too.


  • It’s illegal to mine asbestos in the U.S., but importing products that contain the ugly stuff is still perfectly legal, and tons of it arrive on our shores every year.  You’d find it in your pipe insulation, your floor tiles, your wall boards, and in many other places throughout the home.


  • When asbestos-containing products are intact, they’re not dangerous.  But the building materials in your home could be disturbed by something as simple as a small house fire, a plumbing leak, or a DIY-project-gone-wrong, and that IS potentially dangerous.


  • But talc poses a sneakier threat.  Not only is it practically impossible to tell whether talc products contain asbestos, the types of asbestos typically found in talc (tremolite and anthophyllite) are even more deadly than the more-commonly-used chrysotile type.

Again, your best bet is to throw away any products you have around the house that contain talc.  There are manufacturers out there these days who’ve found a way to create products with the same benefits, but without the cancer dangers presented by talc.

If you suspect an asbestos problem at your place, your friends at Asbestos Abatement, Inc. can help.  We’ll recommend a reputable, economical tester who can determine just what’s going on in the air in your home, and if there’s a problem, we’ll work until your air is 100% asbestos-free – for less than you probably think.  So don’t take a chance with your health, or the health of your family!  Start by making sure that talc makes its way into the garbage – not into your lungs.