Talc, the key ingredient in baby powder, is a naturally-occurring mineral that is found throughout the world. Talc is a soft mineral comprised of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. The substance is mined, crushed, dried, and milled for use in consumer products.

The substance is mined, crushed, dried, and milled for use in consumer products. Talc is used for a variety of household and industrial purposes ranging a food additive, an anti-caking agent, a lubricant, and an astringent. In the case of baby powder, talc is renowned for its ability to absorb moisture, reduce friction and prevent rashes.

Talc-based products have been marketed to women for genital hygiene purposes as body powder and genital deodorant sprays. Talc particles may also enter the female reproductive system through tampons, sanitary pads and diaphragms that are dusted with baby powder. Talc particles that reach the ovaries can result in the growth of ovarian cancer cells.

 

With increasing awareness of the risks that talc based products brings to the consumers, some manufacturers have opted to use corn starch as a substitute for safety reasons.  In terms granularity, rice starch granule is considerably finer than the talc powder granule.

 

Citing Sources: [http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Ingredients/ucm293184.htm]