Talc Powder Explained
Talc is frequently used in baby powder and cosmetic products, but it’s also used in a variety of other industries.
Talc powder, also called talcum powder, is used in many non-cosmetic products as well, including construction, plastics, rubber, coatings, pharmaceuticals and paper, because it’s versatile, absorbs moisture and is inexpensive.
Unfortunately, the same properties that make talc powder appealing are also what makes it dangerous. Talc powder closely resembles asbestos and may trigger diseases, just like asbestos does.
During the process of turning talc from a rock to a powder, many minerals are removed, but the small fibers that have a similar effect to asbestos aren’t. These fibers are a carcinogen, a cancer-causing agent, as they can trigger unnatural cell mutations within a person’s body.
Talc powder isn’t recognized as a deadly substance yet, but neither was asbestos until the mid-1980s. Taking talc powder off the market would be expensive and inconvenient with massive political and economic implications.
Talc powder will likely be in use for years to come and it’s possible that future generations will consider the prolific use of talc powder to be a significant health crisis, much like we view asbestos today.