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Is it safe to use baby powder on my baby?

Using Johnson and Johnson Baby powder on your baby

You may have heard about the concern that prolonged use of talcum powder may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. There are over a thousand lawsuits and three jury verdicts against Johnson & Johnson. The attorneys at are often asked by concerned women about whether it is safe to use baby powder on their baby.

We note that talcum powder is only used for a short time on babies. Our understanding of the science linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer suggests that prolonged use over a period of years is necessary to increase the risk of cancer. So, on that basis, it is unlikely that baby powder would be harmful to use on babies.

There is another risk however. The American Academy of Pediatrics points out that baby powder can cause breathing trouble and serious lung damage for babies if they inhale the particles. Because talc powder is so fine it's hard to keep powder out of the air when you're using it.

Even small amounts of talcum powder can irritate a baby's tiny lungs – especially if the baby is at high risk for respiratory illness. Those at high risk include premature babies, babies with congenital heart disease, and babies who've had frequent respiratory illnesses.

If your baby isn't at high risk and you decide to use baby powder, do so sparingly. Put the powder on your hands first, away from your baby, not directly on or near them.

Keep the powder container well out of reach of your baby and of any older brothers and sisters, too. You don't want small hands to get hold of it or knock it over and produce a cloud of powder that could be inhaled.

To prevent skin irritation, don't allow powder to build up. At every diaper change, wash away any powder that may have accumulated, especially in the folds of your baby's skin.

Until more information is available, suggests that people concerned about using talcum powder may want to avoid or limit their use of consumer products that contain it. As always, speaking to your pediatrician is the best course of action if you have concerns about your babies health.

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