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Issues and concerns of Talcum Powder in India

TitleIssues and concerns of Talcum Powder in India
Publication Type Research Reports
Year of Publication2021
Keywords

indiaHealthContaminationStudyDelhiNGOexposureEnvironmentchemicalsToxicityToxics LinkreproductiveskinmarketWHOAlternativesconsumerscarcinogenicManufacturersbaking sodatalcum powdertalcpowdersilicate mineralJohnson & JohnsonlitigationsUSCanadaovarian cancerlawsuitsbaby powderbrandskin rashcosmetic productsInternational Agency for Research on CancerAsbestosmesotheliomaIndian Institute of Toxicology Researchscientific literatureregulatory authoritiesUS FDACornstarchRegulatory actionslabels

Abstract

In 1893,J & J released its popular baby powder after discovering it could prevent diaper rash. Later, companies began marketing it to women stating that talc was good for controlling odour and moisture in the genital area. At that time, no one was aware of the potential risks associated with the long-term use of talcumpo wder.Published scientific literature dating back to the 1960s has suggested a possible association between the use of powders containing talc and the incidence of ovarian cancer.According to the reports, several litigations were filed against some of the manufacturers of talcum powder, among which J & J was one of the biggest names.In the wake of huge public outcry and several litigations, the company decided to permanently discontinue about 100 products,including the J & J baby powder. However, this decision was only applicable to the North American Market (i.e., US and Canada). The company stated that there has been a decline in demand for the powder and stores can continue selling its existing inventory until it runs out. The company however, continues to sell its products in other markets, including India.Therefore, emphasizing the prevention approach, few recommendations like phasing out the use of talc in products,regulatory actions,promotion of safer alternatives etc have been proposed in the study to safeguard the health of the women and children.

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