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Banish the Baby Powder?

By HHI Staff

If you choose to use a powder on your baby, use it sparingly. Powders can easily become airborne and can enter the respiratory system causing irritation. It should also be noted that talcum powder (which many name-brand powders contain) is made of purified ground talc, a powdered magnesium silicate. There’s concern that this may be implicated in the lung disease talcosis.


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Another note of caution: Although baking soda can be a good choice as a powder for adults, you’ll want to avoid using it as a powder applied directly on your baby’s delicate skin. As better alternatives, many parents have found that cornstarch or arrowroot powder work well, or a combination of the two. Another choice is to use rice starch. Arrowroot powder and rice starch are often sold in bulk at health-food stores, but they will be costlier and hardier to find than cornstarch. Then, too, there are manufactured products you might opt for, such as those made with fine white clay, arrowroot, and herbs.




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The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


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Banish the Baby Powder?:  Created on April 23rd, 2009.  Last Modified on February 27th, 2011


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