Check your baby powder

2016-03-09 06:00
PHOTO: sourced

PHOTO: sourced

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PEOPLE must check labels and ingredient lists and take informed decisions of what they buy. This was the advice from Cansa’s health specialist, Professor Michael Herbst in response to recent articles posted online about Johnson & Johnson baby powder containing cancer-causing elements.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), talc is a possible carcinogen. It was originally because of asbestos, a carcinogen, contamination.

“Since the seventies talc is said to be free of any asbestos contamination, however, as long as IARC maintains that talc is a possible carcinogen, the Cancer Association of South Africa will respect that view and will continue to warn the public about its possible harm. We cannot be selective in what we use emanating from IARC,” said Herbst.

The issue of the brand leading to ovarian cancer was brought up once again when news sites on social media posted about an American woman winning her case against the company for its product leading to her ovarian cancer. However, Herbst said that to the best of his knowledge there has never been any court cases or claims in South Africa.

“Cansa’s advice is that individuals must check the ingredient list of every product they buy, whether this be personal care products, food, or anything else. In this instance, if they prefer to not use a personal care product that contains talc, they must shop around because there are baby powders on the market that are talc-free.
These can be recognised by inclusion of “cornstarch” in the title or in the ingredient list. I found two such baby powders on the shelves,” he said.

Herbst added that after checking on the shelves of large chain stores and two well-known chain pharmacies, talc is present in all of the Johnson & Johnson baby powders that were displayed on the shelves - Purity, Elizabeth Anne’s Baby Powder, Clicks Mild & Gentle for your Little One Baby Powder, and Dis-Chem Baby Things baby powder. Baby powders that clearly state cornstarch are talc free and can be found in stores.

According to IRAC talc is still listed
as a possible
carcinogen.

Cornstarch baby powders are safer.

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