Newborns..cancer..and asbestos

I am going to be a great aunt! You see that little nugget? That little nugget is going to be spoiled by me! I. Can. Not. Wait.

But get brother is also having a baby next year! So not only do I get to have one baby to spoil, I get TWO!

I've got to buy diapers, onesies, squeaky toys to annoy the parents, baby wipes, and bottles. My list is piling up, but one thing I won't be putting on my list, is baby powder.

You see, as I scrolling through Instagram, I saw this headline....

As an Industrial Hygienist, asbestos is one of those triggers. I ask about it when we are doing a remodel of a building or for cement guys on a construction site, but seeing it aligned with baby powder....I was shocked.

Then I had to do my research. I know that there is talcum powder in many baby powders, which contains talc. Talc is a mineral that is found in the earth and used in all types of products to absorb moisture. Makes sense.

I had to do a little more digging to understand how the asbestos got into the baby powder, however. Then I learned that asbestos, also a mineral, can be found near talc when they are extracted from the earth.

So basically, if you are are digging up talc, you could also dig up asbestos if you are not careful. Now I understood the potential for baby powder to test positive for asbestos.

There are six types of asbestos, the one found in the baby powder is called chrysotile, which can still be found throughout the world, and in use. Which is crazy to me because no matter the type of asbestos, there is a potential for cancer.

Of course I read up on the baby powder story and learned that 16,000 people are suing due to a potential link to their cancer and the product. Even more disturbing, I learned that around the world over 100,000 people die each year from an asbestos related disease. It's not just people that work with asbestos that are dying, it's also family members of people that have taken the product home on their clothes from work.

The case of the Food and Drug Administration finding asbestos in the baby powder is still working through it's process with the manufacturer denying the allegation. In the mean time, there are plenty of alternatives to avoid diaper rashes.

The best part about being an aunt is that I get to buy all of the fun stuff. So i'll opt out of the baby powder and go with a signing toy or some other toy to annoy their parents.

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