Before purchasing that budget-friendly holiday gift, you should read about how it was made. You might learn asbestos was involved.
Many seemingly harmless consumer goods are at the center of mesothelioma claims. Careless manufacturing practices have let dangerous asbestos fibers creep into American lives. 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 mesothelioma.
Talc is the vehicle delivering asbestos into consumer goods. Most companies actively avoid asbestos due to its ability to cause cancer, but some cosmetic and health entities still count on talc as a necessary ingredient.
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.
Products with reported asbestos concerns include:
- Princess Girl’s All-in-One Deluxe Makeup Palette
- Playskool’s 36-pack crayons
- Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower Powder
- Chanel’s after-bath items
- Claire’s makeup
Fortunately, these items were pulled from the consumer market, either due to public criticism or legal claims.
However, the overall risk is not eliminated. 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
If you’re purchasing a toy and don’t want to buy something potentially laced with asbestos, consider those with natural or organic materials. Wooden blocks, for instance, are safe from asbestos. Most plastic toys are as well.
If you’re buying for an adult who would appreciate a cosmetic item or cleaning powder, you need to know the alternative ingredients to talc or talcum powder.
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.
Here are six brands and products utilizing some of the above ingredients:
- 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.
- 5 Alternatives to Talc Powder. Treehugger. Retrieved from: https://www.treehugger.com/alternatives-talc-powder-4864299. Accessed: 11/24/2020.
- 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.