How there may be dangerous asbestos in talcum powder and how it may cause Mesothelioma Cancer

Updated on August 27, 2020
Close-up Of Spilled Talcum Powder And Stethoscope On Wooden Background

Talc is a mineral that has been used for, but not limited to, cosmetic products, ceramic products, foot powder, face powder, and baby powder. The most widely used talc product is talcum powder. 

When talc is in powder form, it takes the form of finely ground and soft material. Unfortunately, many have used such powders without knowing that there can be dangerous asbestos in products containing talcum powder, leading to health hazards such as Mesothelioma cancer. 

Let’s take a closer look at how there may be dangerous asbestos in talcum powder and how it may cause cancer. 

Talcum Powder and Asbestos

As mentioned, talc is a pure mineral when not contaminated by other minerals, such as asbestos, which are found near each other. For the longest period, there has been a denial by companies about the health hazards that can be caused by the presence of asbestos in products. In that case, companies may have been aware that their talc-containing products may also contain asbestos. But they may not have realized that this fact posed danger to their customers’ health.  

Johnson & Johnson baby powder, which contains talc, has been marketed as an essential product for babies’ wellness. As such, people have filed claims against Johnson & Johnson, although they deny that their products contain asbestos fibers. 

A successful lawsuit was accomplished in 2018 where 22 women were awarded more than USD$4 billion in compensation. They claimed that they were fighting ovarian cancer as a result of using their products, which contained asbestos fibers.  

AdobeStock 172003908
Mom applying talc powder from plastic tube to the baby body for skin care

Talc and Mesothelioma Cancer Risks

Although not all talc products cause health risks, those that have been exposed to asbestos can cause health problems. Since talc and asbestos are often mined together, talc could also cause asbestos-related disease, especially mesothelioma cancer. 

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that can affect the abdomen’s lining as well as the lungs. People that have had prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers are also at risk of developing this kind of cancer. 

Developing Mesothelioma from talcum powder can be a slow process–it can take between 20 to 50 years for the cancer to emerge. Furthermore, Mesothelioma is a difficult cancer to diagnose and can be fatal since it can only be detected once it has spread.

Miners are usually the ones who are potentially exposed to this type of cancer since they’re the ones who experience direct inhalation of asbestos. Along with miners, people that work with talc manufacturers, as well as people who live in and around areas close to the mines are also at danger as they could easily inhale asbestos fibers. Other people at risk are spouses and family members of these miners and all those who come into contact with asbestos particles that may be strapped in clothing for example. 

Those who don’t necessarily inhale or physically handle asbestos can still be at risk by using talcum products that are contaminated by the asbestos. This includes the babies that the products were used on, as well as caregivers such as parents, baby sitters, and other family members. 

Talcum powder is particularly risky because of how it is applied. The products are usually packaged in containers that have holes on the top lids. This makes the talcum easy to spread through the air, which is then inhaled or ingested by those surrounded by the powder. 

Take note that the potential asbestos fiber particles can remain on surfaces and materials, which can then be later inhaled. 

What To Do Next? 

If you suspect that you may have been exposed to the asbestos contained in talcum powder, the first action that needs to be taken is to identify the symptoms. Symptoms of this type of cancer include painful chest, coughing, shortness of breath, and lumps under the skin of your chest, abdominal swelling, and nausea. 

Having identified these symptoms, the next step is to seek medical advice. Medical professionals are able to guide you on the next processes that need to be observed. 

Now that you made your health a priority, the next step is to consult a team of experienced asbestos lawyers for possible compensation. Lawyers know the processes involved, investigations, and what’s required of you for the best possible outcome. Although no price of money can make the health conditions disappear, one still deserves to be compensated for being placed in a compromising health position. 


Talcum powder has been appreciated for various cosmetic usages. The dangers of talcum powder are that the mineral talc can be exposed to asbestos, which can be hazardous to the health when. Talcum powder products, such as face and foot powders, have left customers in a compromising health position. The side-effects of using products that have asbestos fibers include possible lung cancer and mesothelioma cancer. 

If you suspect that you might’ve been exposed to asbestos in talcum powder products, you must identify the symptoms of mesothelioma cancer. Having identified these, you must seek medical guidance. 

A team of knowledgeable asbestos lawyers can help you get compensated for your pain and suffering. Make sure to consult recommended and reputable lawyers for the best possible outcome. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.