Recently, there has been clout of suspicion on talcum powder having asbestos. Headlines over headlines, concerns were raised about potential health risks that are associated with asbestos. Many companies have recalled products that have been contaminated by asbestos. However, there might still be some talcum powder in the market that has asbestos. Because of this, you need to know how to distinguish between the two.
What Is Talcum Powder and Asbestos?
Before you can know if there is asbestos in talcum powder, you need to know what asbestos and talcum powder are first, and why it is dangerous. Talc is a mineral that is usually found underground. It is one of the softest minerals, which makes it profoundly useful for industrial and consumer products. Talc is widely used in consumer products as baby powder. For industrial use, it’s usually for ceramics, plastic, and other materials.
The thing is that asbestos is also usually found near talc. That is why it is very likely that talc can be contaminated. Asbestos is a known substance that could increase the chances of getting mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma cancer is just one of the diseases that you could develop from inhaling asbestos. This is the reason why asbestos is dangerous.
How Do You Know If Talcum Powder is Contaminated?
It can be challenging to check if talcum powder has asbestos with it since there are particles too small, and they are usually hard to distinguish from each other. Luckily, here are some ways to help you spot if there is asbestos in talcum powder.
The easiest and most convenient way to check if there is asbestos in your talcum powder is to check the color carefully. Usually, Talcum powder that is contaminated with asbestos has a darker color. To check, open the bottle of your talcum powder and compare it with others to see if the color is darker than the others.
However, merely looking at the color may not give you the certainty that the talcum powder you have is not contaminated with asbestos.
2. Lab Tests
One way to know for sure if your products are contaminated by asbestos is to have the FDA to check it. Experts will analyze the talc to see if it contains asbestos. You will get the results after a few days. However, this can be very expensive and impractical to do if you do not have the time and resources to contact the FDA.
You can also bring the sample to a certified laboratory to be examined for asbestos. Using a Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), these laboratories can run the tests to check if the sample contains asbestos. You can do some research to see which laboratories are certified and how much it is to do PLM and TEM tests.
3. Asbestos Testing Kits
If you are not prepared to shoulder the costs of laboratory fees, there is still a less expensive way to check for asbestos. You can do this by getting an asbestos testing kit. It is relatively easy and will only need two steps. The first step includes buying the kit and gathering the talcum powder sample you want to be tested. Second, you just need to mail the samples to the lab referenced in the asbestos testing kit.
4. Check The News
Another way is to keep yourself up to date with the latest news on asbestos and talcum powder. There are already a few brands that have been identified to contain asbestos. You can stay away from brands that have asbestos.
Check the news and have your ears on the ground to know the latest developments with asbestos-contaminated talcum powder. Make sure that you get your news from reliable and reputable sources such as news reporters and websites such as Forbes and Business Insider.
5. Medical-Grade Talc and Cosmetic-Grade Talc
When you buy talcum products, you can also check what kind of talc is used. You would want the company to tell you that they are using medicine-grade talc. Medicine-grade talc contains 99 percent talc and is reportedly free of asbestos since it is sterilized. However, this might not be readily available for individual consumption.
Instead, you can look for cosmetic-grade talc, which is 98 percent talc. Usually, most cosmetics that contain talc have cosmetic-grade talc in the products. You can also readily buy cosmetic-grade talc online as well.
Despite talcum powder being around for a while now, everyone has to put more scrutiny into buying these products. It can be a bit difficult to check if there is asbestos in talcum powder. To make sure that you are using asbestos-free products, always check for the color, use asbestos testing kits, and keep your ears on the ground by watching the news.