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Is Talcum Powder in Your Makeup?

When you put on makeup in the morning, the last thing you expect to find in your blush or eyeshadow is a known carcinogen. Unfortunately, despite the numerous studies proving the dangers of talcum powder, manufacturers continue to use this hazardous mineral in various everyday items, including cosmetic products.

Known for its ability to absorb moisture and prevent caking, talc is a seemingly ideal ingredient for products like eyeshadow, blush, foundation, and other cosmetic powders. Unfortunately, talcum powder often contains traces of asbestos, which has been known to increase the risk of certain cancers. Exposure to asbestos, even at relatively low levels, can result in major health issues, particularly the development of a somewhat rare cancer, mesothelioma.

In order to protect yourself from the dangerous products that may contain asbestos, make sure you know the basics about what talcum powder is, how it is used, and how it could be harmful.

Why Talc?

Talcum powder is a naturally occurring mineral mined from the earth and used for its absorption properties. Talcum powder, or talc, was most famously used as the key ingredient in baby powder, until the long-term side effects became apparent. Because of the way this mineral handles moisture, it helps add a smooth texture to various types of powder-based cosmetics. Talc lends an opaque coloration to makeup, which is highly favorable in foundations and eyeshadows, while it also prevents caking and absorbs unwanted moisture.

Although talcum powder can be used in any powder makeup, it is most commonly found in:

  • Deodorant
  • Eyeshadow
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Foundation
  • Lipstick
  • Lotion
  • Shower products

Is Talc Harmful?

On its own, talcum powder is not found to be a carcinogen. However, because of the way in which talcum powder forms in the earth, it often mixes with asbestos. Asbestos and talcum powders also have a tendency to mix when they are mined in the same vicinity, as they often are. When the two mix, a seemingly harmless batch of talc can become infested with unsafe asbestos fibers. Unlike talc, asbestos is a known carcinogen, which means exposure to contaminated talcum can directly result in the development of cancer.

Depending on where the cosmetic product is used, the ingredients can be absorbed into that area of the body. Feminine hygiene products, for example, can be absorbed into the woman’s reproductive organs, resulting in irritation, inflammation, and potentially ovarian cancer. Likewise, the use of asbestos near the nose mouth might result in the inhalation of asbestos fibers, which can trigger the development of certain lung cancers, or mesothelioma.

In short, talcum powder can be extremely harmful if it is contaminated with asbestos. Although some trials and scientific inquiries have attempted to identify safe talc powder uses, erring on the side of caution is always safest.

Know Your Legal Options

If you were using a cosmetic product that contained talcum powder, and you recently developed cancer as a result, our firm is prepared to help. The cosmetic companies who produce these dangerous products need to be held responsible for their careless, dangerous actions. Although the FDA does not regulate cosmetic products, it is each company’s legal duty to produce a reasonably safe product, and if their products contain cancer-causing materials, you have a right to fight for compensation.

We can analyze the circumstance surrounding your diagnosis, gather evidence against the liable party, and provide you with a sound legal case. Our firm is passionate about fighting for the rights of the injured and we want to see you obtain the compensation you need and deserve.

Did you develop cancer after exposure to a dangerous cosmetic containing talc? Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P. to discuss your potential case with our attorneys. We accept cases nationwide and we are dedicated to our clients.


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