Not Just For Babies and Butts

On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson filed a report with the SEC stating that the company is cooperating with Senator Murray, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to produce subpoenas in response to numerous lawsuits connecting its baby powder product with asbestos, allegedly causing ovarian cancer and other health issues.

Following the report, Johnson & Johnson shareholders suffered losses with the stock falling about 1% to $134.

The New York Times reported that Imerys Talc America, which supplies Johnson & Johnson with much of its talc used in baby powder filed for bankruptcy last week to avoid racking up millions in legal fees litigating these cases.

If you’re thinking that this doesn’t matter because you don’t have a baby or you don’t chafe, then I urge you to think again. Baby powder, or talc, is used plenty – here are some ways you might be exposed to it:

At the waxing salon: talc is in wax preparation to absorb any oils on the surface of your skin, which helps the wax adhere better to unwanted hair. It’s also used after waxing to keep you from feeling sticky and to soothe your skin. The downside? Your pores are wide open and ready to absorb whatever is alleged to be in the powder.

In your makeup: Mineral-based powders such as mattifying foundations and loose powders may contain talc, which can help set makeup, absorb oil, and make your skin look matte.

In eczema treatments: Talc powder has soothing effects on eczema-prone skin in tricky areas, including those that get sweaty and have skin folds: genital areas, underarms, between fingers and toes, etc.

In dry shampoos: Due to its oil-absorbing properties, talc powder is a popular ingredient in dry shampoos designed to absorb oil from the scalp and hair.