Baby powder is an astringent powder used for preventing diaper rash, as a deodorant, and for other cosmetic uses. It may be composed of talc (in which case it is also called talcum powder) or corn starch. Talcum powder is harmful if inhaled since it may cause aspiration pneumonia or granuloma. Drugs such as cocaine are sometimes cut with talcum powder. It is also an ingredient in counterfeit pharmaceuticals and food products as a bulking agent in order to give the appearance of a larger quantity than actually present. Pediatricians generally prefer cornstarch to talc because it is unlikely to be easily inhaled. Baby powder can also be used as a shampoo, cleaning agent, and freshener.
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