Talcum powder—also known as talc or baby powder—is a soft powder made of finely ground magnesium silicate, a mineral compound comprised of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen.
The powder is excellent for reducing friction and absorbing moisture, and is commonly used both by itself and as a component in a variety of cosmetic products.
However, despite its widespread popularity over the past several decades, the use of talcum powder has been linked to a number of serious side effects.
Talcum Powder Uses
Talcum powder has a number of uses and is found in so many common cosmetic and household products that most people will have likely come into contact with it at some point. For example, talcum powder can be dusted all over the body for use as an antiperspirant/deodorant, and is often patted on infants' bottoms, as its moisture absorbing and anti-friction qualities help to prevent diaper rash.
Talc is often present in a number of cosmetic products, including:
- Eye shadow
- Face powder
Additionally, talcum powder has long been marketed to women as a feminine hygiene product designed to absorb excess moisture and mask vaginal odors. This particular use for talcum powder may be the most insidious, as some studies have suggested that women who apply the powder to their groins have an increased risk of developing reproductive cancers, such as ovarian cancer. The research shows that when talcum powder is used in the vaginal area, the talc particles can enter the vagina and uterus, and travel all the way to the fallopian tubes and ovaries, where they cause extreme inflammation that may eventually lead to ovarian cancer.
Side Effects Associated With Talcum Powder Use
Though the use of talcum powder was considered harmless and even beneficial for decades, studies from as far back as the 1970s suggest a link between the use of talc and serious health problems. Unfortunately, the risks associated with using talcum powder are just now becoming well known.
Respiratory problems are some of the most common side effects reported in connection with talcum powder, as breathing in the talc particles can cause an array of dangerous symptoms such as:
- Chronic lung irritation
- Shallow breathing
- Fast breathing
These symptoms can be a particular concern in infants, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of talcum powder for infant care.
When it comes to talcum powder use, some individuals may be more prone to side effects than others. People who are already sensitive to respiratory ailments may find that using talcum powder triggers their asthma or causes pneumonia.
Also, a person's risk of developing serious chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer increases the longer they are exposed to talc. Thus, miners and millers involved with the talc-making process may be even more likely to experience serious side effects than the average user.
Did You Experience Side Effects Linked to Talcum Powder?
For some people, the use of talcum powder was part of their daily routine for many years. These people trusted the companies that produced and sold the powder to provide a safe product. Unfortunately, these loyal customers may now suffer from a host of health problems related to short- and long-term use of talcum powder.
Fortunately, people who have experienced serious side effects may not have to bear the financial burden of their injuries on their own. Texas law allows those who were harmed by dangerous or defective products to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for damages, including medical bills, lost wages due to time missed from work, pain and suffering, and more. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you explore legal options.
Contact McGartland Law Firm today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your case.