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4 Important Facts About the Safety of Talc

JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder, made from cosmetic talc, has been a staple of baby care rituals and adult skin care and makeup routines worldwide for over a century.

The most common cosmetic applications for talc are face, body and baby powders, but it’s also used as an ingredient in color cosmetics, soap, toothpaste, antiperspirant, chewing gum and drug tablets.

Following decades of studies conducted by medical experts across the globe, it has been demonstrated through science, research and clinical evidence that few ingredients have the same performance, mildness and safety profile as cosmetic talc.

Talc, also known as talcum powder, is a naturally occurring mineral that is highly stable, chemically inert and odorless. The grade of talc used in cosmetics is of high purity—comparable to that used for pharmaceutical applications—and it’s only mined from select deposits in certified locations before being milled into relatively large, non-respirable-sized particles.

Today, talc is accepted as safe for use in cosmetic and personal care products by the European Union, Canada and many other countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Israel, South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia.

To help further highlight the safety profile of cosmetic talc, here are four key scientific and clinical facts about the mineral:

Fact #1: Since the 1970s, talc used in consumer products has been required to be asbestos-free, so JOHNSON’s talc products do not contain asbestos, a substance classified as cancer-causing. JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder products contain only U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) grade talc, which meets the highest quality, purity and compliance standards. The company’s sources for talc are routinely evaluated using a sophisticated battery of tests designed to ensure compliance with all global standards.

Fact #2: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which identifies potential risk factors for many diseases, has not identified talc as a risk factor for ovarian cancer.

Fact #3: Two widely accepted studies that followed women over a lengthy period of time—the Nurses’ Health Study by the Harvard School of Public Health (published in 2009) and the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Cohort by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (published in 2014)—found no association between talc and ovarian cancer.

Fact #4: An extensive review of all data on talc safety that was published in 2015 by the independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel concluded “talc is safe in the present practices of use and concentration described in this safety assessment.” Since the review, no new data has become available that would change their assessment.

To learn more about the safety of talcum powder, please visit factsabouttalc.com.

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