Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It affects the lungs and has no cure.
Many people suffer from this cancer due to exposure in a work environment, but this is not always how it occurs. Recent findings suggest that the use of baby powder could lead to this condition.
Baby powder and asbestos
Baby powder made from the mineral talc could contain varying levels of asbestos. Talc is a natural product that has asbestos in it. If someone inhales the talc, they could get mesothelioma. The good news is that baby powder on the market these days usually has a cornstarch base and does not contain any talc.
Past issues with talc
While users may have some risk of developing mesothelioma, especially if they were heavy users of baby powder and consistently inhaled the particles, the biggest risk follows typical standards. Those mining the talc for use in baby powder generally have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. They have had long-term exposure to the dust.
Research into baby powder and cancer
Research is not 100% definite that baby powder use or exposure leads to cancer. Studies show that some people with exposure may develop cancer, while others do not. The likely reason for this is that talc contains varying levels of asbestos. Some may have high levels, and some may contain none. In addition, researchers suggest studies may be unable to provide a definitive answer about miners and their risks because they have exposure to other harmful substances that could lead to cancer when mining talc.
The bottom line is that baby powder may have links to mesothelioma. However, the risk is likely only for talc miners rather than the casual user.