Before purchasing a holiday gift, you should read about how it was made. You might learn asbestos was involved. Avoiding holiday gifts with asbestos should be top of mind for everyone.
Many seemingly harmless consumer goods are at the center of mesothelioma claims. For instance, talc can easily mix with asbestos, and many health and beauty products include talc.
Careless talc manufacturing practices have let dangerous asbestos fibers creep into American lives through Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and other mainstay brands. These sharp fragments can easily enter the human body and probe tissue cells, ultimately forming tumors. Asbestos gained notoriety as the only known cause of the rare and deadly cancer called mesothelioma.
Here is a guide for avoiding asbestos in holiday gifts by finding talc-free gifts.
How Asbestos Infects Talc Products
Asbestos, just like talc, is a naturally occurring mineral. Talc is ground into a powder, which absorbs moisture on skin. Talcum powder is a foundational element of many makeup and cleaning powders.
The issue is asbestos can contaminate talc during mining procedures.
You may think it’s rare — you may assume this possibility is limited to one or two items — but the list is much longer than most Americans realize.
Let’s start with Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder. Mesothelioma Guide published an in-depth overview of why this product is dangerous and now no longer sold to American consumers. The answer to why Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder was pulled from shelves is simple: talc and asbestos.
Products with reported asbestos concerns include:
- Princess Girl’s All-in-One Deluxe Makeup Palette
- Playskool’s 36-pack crayons
- Chanel’s after-bath items
- Claire’s makeup
Other products may include talc, which raises the risk of them exposing users to asbestos. Watch for talc on the ingredient list, and prioritize items with alternatives.
How to Find Talc-Free Holiday Gifts
The secret to buying safe holiday gifts is eliminating all gifts that include talc. If you’re purchasing a toy and don’t want to buy something potentially laced with asbestos, consider those with natural or organic materials.
Talc-Free Holiday Gift Ideas for Children
For children, there are a lot of talc-free gifts that they’d enjoy. Wooden blocks, for instance, are safe from asbestos. Most plastic toys are as well. Crayons may include talc, so beware of this one. Talc may also be in children’s makeup kits or some brands’ doll accessories.
Talc-Free Holiday Gift Ideas for Adults
If you’re buying for an adult who would appreciate a cosmetic item or cleaning powder, you need to know all of the products that might include talc or talcum powder. These might not be super-exciting gifts, but for new parents, a baby powder can be an appreciated and thoughtful holiday present. Just beware of the brands that are associated with talc and have been the subject of cancer lawsuits.
Some deodorants, toothpastes and more can include talcum powder. These products might be stocking-stuffers yet still quite appreciated by the recipient. The same goes for cosmetics, jewelry, and makeup.
Finding a talc-free gift for an adult shouldn’t be difficult. Talc was mostly used in beauty and health products.
Talc-Free Alternatives for Health and Beauty Gifts for the Holidays
If you’re set on buying a fragrance or a cleaning powder or some other health and beauty product as a holiday gift, then you can do so safely. Many safe alternatives have emerged for talc. Multiple websites, one being mom.com, list some alternatives to talcum powder:
- Arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
- Baking soda
- Oat flour
- Chickpea powder
- Rice flour
- Corn flour
All of these options are just as effective as talc at absorbing moisture and keeping skin healthy. As an added benefit, they don’t come with the asbestos risk.
Safe Talc-Free Health and Beauty Brands to Consider for Holiday Gifts
We at Mesothelioma Guide want to highlight brands who are doing the work to keep consumers safe from the dangers of asbestos, which means keeping them safe from exposure to talc.
Here are six brands and products utilizing some of the above alternative ingredients to talcum powder. We will not link to any of the products as we don’t want to be seen as advertising them, so please search on Google or another web browser for these products if you’re interested:
- Burt’s Bees Baby Dusting Powder
- Honeybee Gardens Deodorant Powder
- Everyday Minerals’ 100% vegan makeup and cosmetics
- Larenim mascara
- Ecco Bella lip pigments and other cosmetics
There are many other talc-free options. Whether you’re looking in a store or searching online, now you have the knowledge to buy a safe holiday gift for your friend or family member.
Sources & Author
- Claire’s is testing its makeup for asbestos. Youtube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9lRSnAXJaU&feature=youtu.be. Accessed: 01/17/2018.
- Alert: Tests Find High Levels of Asbestos in Children’s Makeup Kit. Environmental Working Group. Retrieved from: https://www.ewg.org/release/alert-tests-find-high-levels-asbestos-children-s-makeup-kit. Accessed: 01/23/2020.
- Chanel Hit With Talc Mesothelioma Lawsuit in New York. Daily Hornet. Retrieved from:
https://dailyhornet.com/2020/chanel-hit-with-talc-mesothelioma-lawsuit-in-new-york/. Accessed: 05/26/2020.
- 7 Alternatives to Talcum Powder that Don’t Cause Cancer. Drugwatch. Retrieved from: https://www.drugwatch.com/news/2018/06/25/7-alternatives-to-talcum-powder-that-dont-cause-cancer/. Accessed: 11/15/2022.
- 16 Talc-Free Alternatives to Baby Powder. Mom.com. Retrieved from: https://mom.com/baby/29228-16-talc-free-alternatives-baby-powder. Accessed: 11/24/2020.
- Playskool crayons found to contain asbestos, advocacy group says. Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/08/06/playskool-crayons-found-contain-asbestos-advocacy-group-says/. Accessed: 11/24/2020.
Sources & Author