Talcum Powder Inhalation and Products Exposing to the Female Genital Area Are Deemed Dangerous Health Risks
NORTH AMERICA – According to Health Canada, the agency issued a Product Advisory (ID number: RA-75453) on April 22, 2021, stating that the conclusion of a three-year joint screening assessment with Environment and Climate Change Canada discovered talc could be hazardous to humans. Specifically, the assessment stated that a) talc could be damaging to the lungs if accidentally inhaled and b) talc is connected to an increased rate of ovarian cancer when self-care products made with loose talc are used in the female genital area.
According to Health Canada, the joint screening evaluation of talc was completed under Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan. The screening assessment, which began back in 2018, was based on the latest scientific evidence.
The screening assessment’s conclusions stated that:
- Some “loose talc” products such as body powder, baby powder, cosmetics, loose face powder, non-prescription drugs, and natural health products; as well as
- Other talc-based products used in the female genital area such as genital deodorants, body powder, genital antiperspirants, body wipes, baby powder, bubble baths, diaper creams, rash creams, bath bombs, body wipes, and bubble baths are dangerous to human health.
According to Health Canada’s final assessment report, certain types of talc self-care products used in the female genital area and the inhalation of talc particles can be dangerous to humans. Health Canada is advising consumers to review all self-care product labeling and to avoid using products that contain “loose talc powder.” Consumers should also stop using these products and remove the products from their homes. If users are concerned about their current or previous use of talc-base products, they should discuss it with their doctor.
The Canadian government proposes to implement the following safety measures:
- Update the “Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist” to create a reduction in talc exposure; and
- Update all applicable monographs and the Natural Health Products Ingredients Database.
Canada is the first country to take actions that regulate any talc-based products because of ovarian cancer and lung damage risks in all age groups. Health Canada is also publishing its safety information for healthcare professionals and consumers through its “Recalls and Safety Alerts Database.”
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