Smart living in a toxic world.

Toxic Tuesday: TALC

Toxic Tuesday: TALC


What is TALC?


According to EWG:

Talc is most often found in makeup; especially powders but can be found in many other beauty and personal care products. On it’s own, its “a powdered native, hydrous magnesium silicate sometimes containing a small portion of aluminum silicate.”

What makes talc so dangerous is that its known to often contain asbestos fibers, which are not only a known carcinogen, but pose incredible risks to the human respiratory tract, being a known human respiratory toxicant.

There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, which causes diseases that kill an estimated 15,000 Americans a year. Tiny asbestos fibers in cosmetics can be inhaled by a child, become lodged in their lungs, and eventually cause mesothelioma, an incurable cancer.”

Popular mainstream products that contain TALC:


















From left to right: NARS blush, Secret Outlast Antipersperant & Deodorant Clear Gel (Completely Clean), Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer, Lush ‘No Drought’ Dry Shampoo, Too Faced Melted Matte-Tallic Liquified Metallic Matte Lipstick, Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder


According to Safe

Irritation: Case studies of infants inhaling talc-containing baby powder showed severe respiratory distress.[13], [14]

Cancer: The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists talc containing asbestos as carcinogenic to humans while perineal use of talc is classified as possibly carcinogenic.[15],[16] Talc use is linked to endometrial and ovarian cancer.[17],[18] Cosmetic talc applied to the pelvic area, from feminine hygiene products or diaper changes, enters the body and can reach distant organs. This may explain why talc has been found in women’s ovaries and pelvic lymph nodes.[19],[20] Genital talc use increases risk of endometrial cancer among postmenopausal women.[21],[22,],[23] For all women, risk may increase with frequency of use, although this remains contended.[24], [25], [26]

Talc exposure is associated with mesothelioma, a tumor of tissue lining organs such as the lungs, stomach, and heart. Previous talcum exposure is involved in the development and pathogenesis of lung cancer. Workers in the New York talc industry were more likely to develop mesothelioma, which was attributed to inhalation of dust.[27]

Organ system toxicity: Talc elevates lung burden. Talc inhalation can interfere with mechanisms that clean lungs and mitigate inflammation thereby damaging cells and potentially leading to cancer.[28] In human lung epithelial cells, nanoscale talc particles damaged and killed cells while inducing oxidative stress, which is the buildup of harmful molecular agents in the body.[29]Asbestos was found in the lung tissue and lymph nodes of women using cosmetic powders containing talc.[30] Talc exposure, especially via personal care products, can also lead to a diseased respiratory tract as characterized by labored breathing and coughing.[31],[32],[33]

Talc adversely affects the female genital system resulting in infection and inflammation.[34] Talcum powder is toxic to ovarian tissue in rats.[35]

According to EWG:

Asbestiform fibers or ‘asbestos’ have been banned/found unsafe for use in cosmetics by the European Comission.

“There is no law that prohibits the presence of asbestos in cosmetics. Asbestos has been banned by more than 50 nations, but its use remains legal in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration encourages companies to carefully select talc mines to avoid asbestos contamination, but it does not have the power to regulate products that contain talc.”

I cringe at how much eye shadow, contouring, blush, and setting powders I’ve used in my teenage years into my early twenties that likely contained this questionable ingredient.

Make sure you’re always reading the ingredients in all of the items you put on and in your body and those of your loved ones. Don’t trust the government or regulators to chose ingredients that are ‘safe’. They’re only worried about the cheapest ways to make products so they can make larger profits. You need to be your own advocate for you and your families and be diligent.

For safer makeup and other products, take advantage of EWG’s free product safety database at Skin Deep.

Until the next Toxic Tuesday…stay shrewd, Foxies!🦊❤



Leave a Reply

Notify of

Pin It on Pinterest