Smell Test

July 7, 2011


Smell, they say, is a very strong neurological trigger of memories and associations. That’s certainly true of baby powder! It almost always inspires pleasant thoughts of swaddling infants and love and freshness. Of course, the talcum in baby powder, or “talcum powder,” can cause cancer, depending on the type of talc that is used. Some talc, it turns out, includes naturally occurring asbestos. You can relax; they don’t put that talc in cosmetic products anymore. However, non-asbestos-containing talc has come under suspicion, too, but there’s much less consensus about that one. If you’re interested, the American Cancer Society weighs in.