According to an article posted on healthline.com, talcum-based products like baby powder, body powder, and cosmetics are popular and effective in keeping the skin dry. Because talcum powder has been used in the health and beauty industry, talc’s potential link to cancer is a terrifying possibility. Medical research studies have shown diverse results regarding the causal relationship between talc and various types of cancer, namely lung and ovarian cancers.
Talc is a naturally occurring mineral containing oxygen, silicon, magnesium, and hydrogen. Talc is mined and then ground into a fine powder known as talcum powder. Talcum powder is known for its excellent moisture-absorbing characteristic, which is why talc is commonly used in cosmetic products. Talcum powder is typically found in products that keep the skin dry.
The issue with talc is that the mineral is usually found in proximity to asbestos. Asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen linked with lung cancer. When talc is mined, some amounts of asbestos is usually mined along with the talc. Unfortunately, talcum powder can contain some amounts of asbestos.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to put forth new safety requirements for talc-containing products. This follows the results of a year-long sampling of talc-containing cosmetics that the FDA conducted. According to the FDA, although the existing FDA-driven safety guidelines were law, asbestos was still discovered in nine product samples. The FDA’s sampling study proved that there is still a risk of asbestos exposure in modern talcum powder-based cosmetic products.
One study in 2010 initially suggested that talcum powder was linked to an increased risk of endometrial cancer when used in the area between the genitals and anus. Another study stated there was no increased risk of developing endometrial cancer when using talcum powder anywhere on the body.
Another research study analyzed the cancer risk in different populations that are often exposed to talc. The study found that those groups of people who were exposed to talc saw an increase in lung cancer mortality. A recent meta-analysis that reviewed 14 observational studies discovered a link between lung cancer and talc inhalation. According to medical researchers, talc could cause an inflammatory response when inhaled.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), people should limit their exposure to talc-based products. The ACS states that people should avoid all talc-containing cosmetic products such as baby powder, face powder, and cosmetics.
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