A Michigan high school ritual has been labeled hazardous by school officials and is now banned from school sporting events.
Students from Dexter High School have started clapping and spraying baby powder into the air during football games, creating huge clouds and a residual white dusting on those nearby. When the powder-puffing fans, about three dozen in total, moved the ritual indoors for basketball games, the fun turned into a frenzy. Visitors starting having breathing problems, and janitors were forced to clean up the mess during half time. The school’s principal issued a public statement asking students to stop tossing baby powder during games.
It might sound like innocent fun, but baby powder can be hazardous and may contain cancer-causing elements. The powder is made up of talc, which is ground into talcum powder for face and body powders. They are often used to absorb moisture on the body. Talc contains various elements including asbestos, a known carcinogen which has been linked to lung cancer.
It is thought that casual use of talcum powder dusted on the surface of the skin is safe, however studies have shown that regular use of talcum powder in the genital area may cause ovarian cancer. Scientists have found that the talc can travel up the vagina into the uterus, through the fallopian tubes and into the ovaries where it can inflame tissue and trigger the growth of cancerous cells.
A woman recently won a lawsuit against baby powder maker Johnson & Johnson alleging regular use of the company’s Shower to Shower body powder on her genitals caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The jury found that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the risks but failed to warn consumers.