Warning of talc baby powder

Federal Institute for Risk Assessment warns of talc baby powder

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) warns of possible health risks from talc baby powder. The powder can accidentally get into the nose or mouth and from here into the respiratory tract of infants when changing diapers, which can result in impaired breathing and serious lung damage, the BfR said.

The current BfR warning against talc-containing baby powder was caused by an accident in which a two-year-old girl tipped the contents of a powder jar into her face and then had to deal with severe poisoning and considerable health problems. As part of its current communication in Berlin, the BfR therefore called for the introduction of a secure locking system or, alternatively, a ban on talcum-containing baby powder in order to avoid similar accidents in the future.

Serious health consequences of talc baby powder Similar accidents with talc baby powder have repeatedly occurred in the past, with the President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel describes it as "a typical accident situation", "if the child lies on his back to wrap, the powder box opens unintentionally above him and the powder trickles out." If the toddlers inhale the powder afterwards, massive breathing difficulties, severe lung damage and symptoms of poisoning can occur the result, the BfR warned. There is a risk of significant health problems. The BfR reports 113 accidents caused by inhalation of baby powder that were reported to poison information centers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland from 1979 to 2008. Children between the ages of half and two years were mostly affected. Fortunately, no permanent health damage has been recorded so far, the BfR said.

Ban on talc baby powder required The BfR experts explained that given the existing health risk for talc baby powder, a secure locking system is urgently required and, alternatively, a general ban on talc in baby powder is required. Because, according to the pediatricians, the use of talc baby powder is not necessary from a medical point of view. Until appropriate regulations are in place, parents should generally make sure when using talcum baby powder that the powder jars are not kept within reach of the children and that they are always closed as long as they are not in use. In addition, according to the BfR, the warnings on the packaging for the use of the products (e.g. keep a sufficient distance from the eyes, mouth and nose) should be taken into account. (fp)

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