8.06.2010

Carcinogenic Baby Powder

It feels like my home has been plagued by ant problems one way or another every summer. So instead of the usual insecticide-dousing around the house, I've been sprinkling baby powder along the windowsills and on ant trails this summer. Apparently, the talc in the baby powder can deter and even kill these insects. I thought I had found a brilliant alternative to buying chemical junk from home improvement stores. Little did I know that I was in for a HUGE surprise.

Talc is a moisture-wicking compound that is often found in baby powder. It can reduce diaper rashes and keep babies dry and happy. A little known fact is that talc is actually a potential carcinogen (or cancer-causing substance)! Good grief! Although the evidence isn't conclusive, talc has been linked to ovarian and lung cancers. So while I was joyfully lining my window with baby powder, I was exposing myself to greater risk of respiratory disease. Such a kill joy. Not to mention all the babies who are regularly powdered up with this stuff. Eek.

If you're in search of some effective non-toxic methods to get rid of ants, here are just a few tips from wikiHow.com (visit the site for more ideas for terminating ants).
1. Cornmeal. Ants eat it, and the cornmeal expands in their digestive organs when they drink water. Seems like a painful death, but at least they had a good last meal.
2. Salt. Dries up the ants but is only effective in dry environments.
3. Vinegar, peppermint oilcinnamon, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Deter ants with their scent but maybe harmful to pets and irritants to curious children.

To learn more about the carcinogenic effects of talc, check out cancer.org and cancer.gov.

Photo credit: re-nest.com

4 comments:

delwin said...

Those are interesting methods to get rid of ants.

meghan said...

At least the carcinogenic talc wasn't in an airborne spray. It could be worse!

the actor's diet said...

i do not like ants. but i do like your site - am a new fan!

Elizabeth said...

@ Delwin: I especially like the cornmeal one.
@ Meghan: That would really be bad! Thank goodness my small bottle of baby powder is finally used up! Time to chuck that stuff!
@ Actor's Diet: Thanks :)

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