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Baby Powder, Talcum Powder, and Other Baby Powder Questions Answered

Baby talcum powderTalcum powder has been in the news in recent years with concerns about respiratory risks. There have also been concerns raised regarding talcum powder’s possible links to cancer. So, is baby powder talcum powder? Read on for the answers to this and other baby powder questions.


Is baby powder the same thing as talcum powder?

Baby powder is a powder marketed specifically to prevent diaper rash, and for its yummy baby smell. Baby powder may have talc as one of its components. If baby powder includes talc, then yes, it is the same thing as talcum powder. However, there are baby powders that use cornstarch instead of talc in their makeup. These baby powders are not the same as talcum powder.

Why is talcum powder considered unsafe?

The primary concern with talc-based powders is that they are made of fine particles that can be inhaled, and this can result in respiration irritation, inflammation, and chronic respiratory issues.

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Does talcum powder cause lung cancer?

There have been suggestions concerning a possible link between talcum powder and cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, there is some concern as to whether breathing in talc may pose a higher risk of lung cancer. The talc that talc miners breathe in can have bits of asbestos in it and asbestos has been linked to lung cancer. The American Cancer Society currently states there has been no increased risk of lung cancer with consumer use of talcum powder.

Does the use of talcum powder cause an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women?

There have also been claims that when talcum powder is used by women in the genital area it raises the risk of ovarian cancer. This issue has not yet been settled because some studies have shown a small increase in risk while other studies have shown none. The American Cancer Society currently advises women to avoid or limit the use of talc-based products.

Can I use baby powder with cornstarch on my baby?

Baby powders that use cornstarch as an ingredient instead of talc are thought to be safer. However, even though cornstarch has larger particles, they can cause similar respiratory issues if inhaled.

Is there a safe way to use baby powder?

Premature babies or babies with medical issues such as asthma should avoid any baby powder. However, if your baby is healthy and you want to use baby powder, apply the powder on your hands away from your baby. Apply the powder with your hands and wipe away any excess powder. Always avoid applying baby powder to your baby’s head. To avoid diaper rash, instead of baby powder, use a diaper cream with zinc oxide to create a physical barrier to protect your baby’s bottom.

We hope that we have answered for you whether baby powder is talcum powder and your other baby powder questions. You are now more armed with knowledge about baby powder so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to use it.


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