Let’s Talk about Talcum Powder & Fragrances

talcum powder
The internet is blowing up over this article about a court case versus Johnson & Johnson. The court awarded $72 million “to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades.” I looked through the studies on talcum powder. The findings are varied you can check out a summary here. I personally choose to avoid talcum powder and products containing the ingredient. What I found when I looked through the ingredient list for Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder was a little bit more alarming.

What is Parfum anyway?

Here’s the thing NO ONE has mentioned. Look at the ingredient list for the product on the company’s website: Talc, parfum. At first glance an unsuspecting consumer would probably think “Great nothing scary in baby powder just talc and whatever parfum is!” Well you should be concerned when you see fragrance, parfum, or flavor on a list of ingredients.

Let me tell you! The following info is from the FDA website at www.fda.gov:

Labeling of Fragrance Ingredients

If a cosmetic is marketed on a retail basis to consumers, such as in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person, it must have a list of ingredients. In most cases, each ingredient must be listed individually. But under U.S. regulations, fragrance and flavor ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor.”

Here’s why: FDA requires the list of ingredients under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). This law is not allowed to be used to force a company to tell “trade secrets.” Fragrance and flavor formulas are complex mixtures of many different natural and synthetic chemical ingredients, and they are the kinds of cosmetic components that are most likely to be “trade secrets.” To learn more, see the regulation on cosmetic ingredient labeling and the Federal Register notice for this regulation, which addresses “trade secrets” and the FPLA.

I put key phrases in bold above.

What does it mean? Well check out this link. The Environmental Working Group found that the, “average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label.” Because of the ‘trade secret’ loophole above in the FPLA companies are able to put ingredients in their products that could cause a health risk and build up in your system.
Yes, talc probably isn’t the best product to be dousing yourself with. You can make a simple DIY version with arrowroot powder and Lavender essential oil. However, do I think that talc was the ONLY culprit in this product? No, not really. Let’s press Johnson & Johnson to release their “parfum” list. Let’s force them to pay for laboratory tests to CONFIRM the list of ingredients they release. (Let’s make sure they aren’t the ones supplying the sample we should pull one from off the shelf preferably from before this court case blew up in the public. #justsaying)

Next Steps

What should you do to protect yourself and your family? Download the Skin Deep app http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/app/ and scan the products in your home. It will give a score for each product. The key is to look at the scores for all the ingredients! Check out Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder on their website. The product overall has a score of 3 but when you look at the scores of the ingredients it lists fragrance as an 8! I think that’s pretty lenient given the company can put chemicals into a product and hide it from their consumers.

People RESEARCH the products you are putting on your skin, your kids, your husband, your dog, and the people who come in your homes. I used to blindly purchase whatever “smelled nice” at the store or was on sale until I began researching essential oils. I realized how scary some of the chemicals are that are in our products. I’m still making the switch to natural, toxic-chemical free, or DIY products. Start slowly go through a product a week or so and I bet 6 months from now you’ll be living a happier, healthier, toxin-free life!

Lastly, check out Young Living for your skin care needs. They have an amazing line of products and all of the ingredients are listed on the labels. They use pure, unadulterated essential oils. They own their own farms and have the Seed to Seal process. Get in touch with me if you have any questions!

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