The Toxic Truth About Talc

The Toxic Truth about Talc

As you may have heard, on February 22, 2016 Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer which was linked to her life-long use of talc-based powders sold under Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower brands.

I remember working in the hospital years ago and many women patients would use baby powder to fight excess moisture and yeast. I don’t really remember ever hearing anyone advise against this practice.

In fact, I didn’t know how toxic it was until I made it my mission to weed out harmful chemicals in my personal care products and began researching the topic extensively.

When I posted about this story on social media earlier this week, I realized that many women are still not aware of the link between talc and ovarian cancer. In addition, most consumers assume that a product is safe if it is on the market. And the longer a product is on the market, the more trusted the product becomes.

In reality, Johnson & Johnson continued selling talc-based baby powder despite decades of research suggesting it’s link to ovarian cancer and despite formulating a corn-starch based version of their baby powder.

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Non-Toxic Allergy-Friendly Citrus Bathroom Scrub

Non-Toxic, Allergy-Friendly Citrus Bathroom ScrubWhen I was a young kid, I remember cleaning the tub after every bath with one of those powder cleaners that come in a can. Afterwards, I always seemed to have a bit of respiratory irritation from indirectly inhaling the powder as I sprinkled it around the bathtub.

When I was a teenager, my grandmother mistakenly mixed Comet® Powder Bathroom cleaner with bleach. As you can probably guess, that did not go very well.

Mixing comet with bleach, or mixing cleaning supplies in general, can be very dangerous. Mixing bleach with ammonia, or anything acidic is a big “no-no” as it creates a very dangerous chemical reaction that can result in the formation of toxic chloramine vapor or toxic chlorine gas which can cause death at very high levels. Even at low levels, chlorine gas almost always causes respiratory distress and irritation of mucous membranes.

Luckily, my grandmother was okay. Needless to say, after that my family removed all of the dangerous cleaning products from her home.

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