From baby powder to makeup and even vitamins, talc-containing products are under scrutiny for potential asbestos contamination. This can be seen in the many active talc powder asbestos lawsuits that provide financial compensation and support for victims affected by these products. 

Johnson & Johnson, whose baby powder can be found in most homes today, currently has many lawsuits and settlements against them. One includes $8.9 billion set aside to provide compensation for victims who developed cancer after using their talc-based products. Other companies facing talcum powder lawsuits include: Colgate-Palmolive, Avon Products Inc., Whittaker, and Clark & Daniels.

Talc and Asbestos in Household Products

Talc, the main ingredient in talcum products, is a mineral that can naturally contain asbestos. Unlike talc, asbestos is a known carcinogen. Despite efforts to regulate talc purity, instances of asbestos contamination still occur, highlighting the need for stricter oversight and transparency in the manufacturing process. 

The presence of asbestos in talcum powder is unfortunately not a recent discovery. And neither is litigation towards talc manufacturers. Between 1948 and 2017, 66% of the 1,032 cosmetic talc products tested through litigation were positive for asbestos. 

Cosmetic-Grade Talcum Powder – Is it Safe?

Starting the 1970’s, the U.S government has implemented increasingly stringent regulations on the use of asbestos. Talc has not been banned, however, with the oversight of the quality of talc products managed instead by the manufacturers and companies. They claim cosmetic-grade talcum powder adheres to higher safety and purity guidelines. Talcum powder is not allowed in cosmetic products in the European Union.

Studies as recent as 2019, have found asbestos in cosmetics. In a study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it was found that nine of 52 personal hygiene and makeup products contained asbestos. The debate over the safety of talcum powder, regardless of the grade, continues, as household brands go to court and litigation for their cosmetic and skincare products. 

Talcum Powder in Skincare and Cosmetic Products

Talcum powder serves various functions in skincare products, including moisture absorption, oil control, and texture enhancement. In the world of skincare and cosmetics, talcum powder is a versatile ingredient used to improve product texture, absorb excess moisture, and create a matte finish. 

Talcum powder is often listed on cosmetic and skincare products as: 

  • Talc
  • Talcum powder
  • Magnesium silicate
  • Cosmetic talc
  • Talcum

Talcum powder is often found in:

  • Baby powder
  • Body and shower products
  • LotionsFeminine hygiene products
  • Foundations
  • Face Powder
  • Blushes
  • Eyeshadows
  • Setting powders
  • Mascara
  • Lipstick


Despite its widespread use, concerns linger regarding talcum powder’s safety, prompting consumers to seek talc-free alternatives or demand greater transparency from cosmetic brands. 

Skincare and Makeup Brands that Use Talc

Numerous cosmetic brands incorporate talcum powder into their formulations, including both drugstore and high-end brands. Chanel, Revlon, and L’Oreal are the only brands that have announced they will remove talc from some, but not all, of their products. 

While some brands have faced scrutiny and legal action over talc-related health concerns, others continue to defend the safety of their formulations, highlighting the ongoing debate surrounding talcum powder’s risks and benefits.

Some Popular Skincare and Makeup Brands that Use Talcum Powder

  • Beauty Plus Global Inc.
  • Chanel
  • Claire’s
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Imerys Talc America Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Justice
  • Shulton Co. (now owned by Procter & Gamble)
  • Vanderbilt Minerals
  • Whittaker, Clark & Daniels


Makeup products that have been found to contain asbestos:

  • Beauty Glazed Gorgeous Me Eye Shadow Tray Palette
  • Johnson’s Baby Powder
  • Jmkcoz 120 Colors Eyeshadow Palette
  • Beauty Glazed Gorgeous Me Eye Shadow Tray Palette
  • Beauty Plus Global City Color





Talcum Powder in Children’s Makeup Products

Children’s makeup, marketed as safe and fun for young users, may contain talcum powder alongside other ingredients. Play makeup kits, dress-up sets, and themed cosmetics aimed at children often include talc-based formulations, raising concerns about potential health risks. 

In the previously mentioned 2019 study, the FDA, found asbestos in makeup products from Claire’s and Justice.  

 Children’s makeup products that have been found to contain asbestos

  • Just Shine Shimmer Powder, Justice
  • Claire’s Compact Powder style #83915-9
  • Claire’s Contour Palette style #40194-3
  • JoJo Siwa Makeup Set, Claire’s
  • Mint Glitter Makeup Set, Claire’s
  • Pink Glitter Palette with Eyeshadow & Lip Gloss, Claire’s
  • Bedazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup Set, Claire’s
  • Pink Glitter Cellphone Makeup Compact, Claire’s
  • Professional Eye Makeup Kit, Claire’s
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Star Makeup Set, Claire’s
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Rectangle Makeup Set, Claire’s
  • Ultimate Mega Makeup Set, Claire’s

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend talcum powder, of any kind, to be used on infants or children. This is due to the powdery substance, which if ingested may lead to breathing problems. Parents and caregivers should exercise caution when selecting children’s makeup products, opting for talc-free alternatives whenever possible to minimize exposure to potentially harmful substances.

Household Products That Use Talc

Beyond personal care items, talc can be found in a variety of household products, including:

  • Rubber 
  • Insecticides 
  • Plastics 
  • Paper
  • Ceramics 
  • Crayons
  • Paint
  • Roofing materials

    Talc’s versatility and ability to enhance product performance make it a desirable additive in various industries. However, concerns about asbestos contamination and potential health risks underscore the importance of thorough testing and regulatory oversight to ensure consumer safety.

    Existing Talcum Powder Product Lawsuits 

    Avon: In December 2022, a California jury ordered Avon to pay $40 million to one victim, who claimed their product led to her mesothelioma diagnosis. The jury found Avon knew about the danger of asbestos in their products. 

    Cashmere Bouquet: Colgate-Palmolive paid $13 million in 2015 to a woman who developed mesothelioma using their talcum powder product, Cashmere Bouquet.

    Desert Flower: Whittaker, Clark & Daniels paid $16.5 million in 2017 to a peritoneal mesothelioma victim from using Desert Flower Dusting Powder.

    Johnson & Johnson: With numerous settlements reaching the billions, Johnson & Johnson has currently been ordered to set aside $8.9 billion to provide compensation for their victims of asbestos. 

    Imerys & Vanderbilt: Imerys Talc America and Vanderbilt Minerals paid $22 million in 2017 to the estate of a man who died of mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc used to make paint.

    Individuals who believe they have been harmed by talcum powder exposure, particularly due to asbestos contamination, may have legal recourse to seek compensation for damages. Consultation with legal experts specializing in talc-related litigation can guide on pursuing legal action and securing justice for those affected by talcum powder hazards.

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    Written by Richard Stewart

    Writer, Content Coordinator and Outreach Director

    Richard Stewart is a writer, content coordinator and outreach director with over 12 years of experience covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, and treatment options. He is passionate about spreading awareness for asbestos and mesothelioma and helping victims find the information and resources they need online.

    Learn More


    European Commission. Annex III. Available online: