The Talc Scandal: What You Should Know

shutterstock_381112549Have you seen the recent news about the Johnson & Johnson case?

Confused about it? I don’t blame you. It’s the first time this information has been seen so publicly, though the dangers of talc have been known for a long time (since the 80s!). And it is a little strange that it’s all being pinned on Johnson & Johnson, since ALL talc is dangerous. The basic thing is this: talcum powder is dangerous. Not all powder. Talcum powder. Do not use it. Absolutely do not use it on your child.

Let me back up a little. I’ve always been a powder user. Everywhere (yes, there too). I remember being a little kid and standing on my grandmother’s plush bath mat and having her powder me top to bottom (!) so that when I stepped away there were two dark footprints visible in the snowy powder. These are sweet memories of love and bath time and comfort. So yes, in the sticky heat of summers later on, I always powdered myself for cool grandma-like comfort.

However, in the early 2000s, my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, stage 4, and we were told to stop this practice. The warning against talc was just one of many instructions they gave us then, but it hit home, we’d been doing this most of our lives. They didn’t claim it had caused my mom’s ovarian cancer, but they did say it was dangerous and could cause it for me, or exacerbate the problem and we should stop immediately.

And I was confused. Why wasn’t this information common knowledge? It was so easy to go to the store and get some cornstarch (the kind you cook with!) and just use that. Or not use anything “down there.” It wasn’t a necessity. Why was no one speaking up?

Because ovarian cancer isn’t much talked about. It affects so many fewer woman than breast cancer that it just doesn’t get the same press. But because it is so hard to discover, so deadly, so hard to treat, it really needs more attention.

Sorry, I digress. Talc. Here’s the deal: Johnson & Johnson (and Shower to Shower, my grandmothers’ favorite) were sued because they HID the information. The court decided they knew the risks, were asked to make them clear, and did not. So they were indicted for lying and covering up the issue FOR DECADES.
This doesn’t mean they are the only ones to blame. If the FDA or doctors wanted the info out there, they could have found a way to do that. Also, any other talcum powder carries the same risk. Seriously, DON’T USE TALCUM POWDER.

Want to powder yourself up? Go to the grocery store. Get corn starch. Whir it in the blender or food processor with a few drops only of your favorite PURE essential oil (not “fragrance” not “perfume” those guys are chemical). Store it in a cute mason jar with a scoop or a pouf. Enjoy it in safety. Maybe don’t use it “down there” anyway. I mean, do you really want any foreign substance in there? Just sayin’…

There’s more information out there I’m sure. I’m just so incensed about the whole thing that I wanted to send this out to you immediately. I lost my Mom to ovarian cancer, and though I don’t know why, I do know she’d surely have given up talcum powder to be here now. Probably lecturing you about this in much stronger language than I have.