Ingredients 101: What Is Manihot Utilissima Starch?

Manihot utilissima starch  is more commonly known as tapioca. Not just for puddings, it is used in cosmetics for its soothing properties.

In many baby powders, it was common to use talc, a mineral substance that may contain the known carcinogen asbestos. The powder worked well at absorbing moisture and reducing friction so it was commonly used on baby’s bottoms to help reduce the risk of diaper rash.

According to the American Cancer Society, talc has been linked to an increased risk in ovarian cancer and lung cancer. And the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies talc that contains asbestos as “carcinogenic to humans.”

RELATED: What is Talc?

In 2015, a California woman won $13 million after a jury determined that she developed mesothelioma from asbestos in talcum powder. Talcum powder can also pose an additional risk to babies since the small particles can be inhaled, which can increase the risk of respiratory problems.

The solution? Instead of talc, California Baby uses tapioca starch in our Calming Organic Powder.

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