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Talc can be found in products such as baby powder, which may be used for feminine hygiene, cosmetics and in household items. This mineral exists naturally in our environment. It is made up of magnesium, silicon, oxygen and hydrogen. Talc, like other minerals, has to be mined for use. 1
Studies and recent litigation suggest that in some cases using this substance is associated with developing cancer.
What Is Talc Used For?
Talc is known for its absorbent properties. Talc also reduces friction. 2
Because of these characteristics, talc products may be marketed to help keep skin dry and protect against rashes. Talc may also be used in certain consumer products “to prevent caking, to make facial makeup opaque, or to improve the feel of a product.” 3
You can find talc in many things, from body powders to baby powder to blush to eyeshadow to foundation, as well as in food such as chewing gum and rice. 4
Cosmetic Products Made with Talc
The two primary laws regulating cosmetics promoted and sold in the United States are the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates cosmetics but does not “approve” them. 5
According to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, color additives in cosmetics must be FDA-approved, but the cosmetics themselves and many of their ingredients do not need FDA approval. 6
In addition, manufacturers must properly label their cosmetic products and the products must be “safe for use by consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use.” Manufacturers have “legal responsibility for the safety and labeling of their products and ingredients, but the law does not require them to share their safety information with FDA.” 7
Cosmetic and personal care products, including ones made with talc, do not require the stringent testing that medications must undergo. Therefore, you do not find FDA-mandated warnings on these types of products. 8