In recent decades, talc was a common ingredient in baby powders and feminine hygiene powders. But it’s come under fire, even sparking some lawsuits. In 2005-2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, came to a finding that talc is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
Talcum powder is made by drying and crushing talc rocks—and scary fact: some of these products can also contain asbestos! (In fact, in 2015, a California woman won $13 million after a jury determined that she developed mesothelioma from asbestos in talcum powder.) 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.
Talcum powder can pose an additional risk to babies since the small particles can be inhaled, which can increase the risk of respiratory problems.
It’s a good idea to steer completely clear of anything containing talc and look for talc-free baby powder (like California Baby Calming Organic Powder, which is also USDA Certified Organic).