Talc powder is a very common cosmetic product found in every home. Not only women but men also use talc as its primary role is to absorb moisture. Beside this talc is very commonly used for baby care. Parents generally sprinkle talcum on baby’s body to reduce rashes and irritation from diapers. Talcum powder keeps the skin dry and increases comfort in hot weather. Talc also reduces the risk of rashes and chafing from sweat, urine, and other bodily secretions. But you will be amazed to know that excessive use of talc can pose you at higher risk respiratory problems and even cancer. I would like to disclose few facts that reveal the risk of cancer associated with the use of talc.
Why talc is cancerous?
Talc is closely related to asbestos which is a potent carcinogen (any substances that causes cancer or helps cancer to grow). Because of this association with asbestos, all home-use talcum products marketed after about 1973 – baby powders, body powders, and facial powders – have been required by law to be asbestos-free. Asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesotheliomas (cancers affecting the lining surfaces of the chest and abdominal cavities).
When an otherwise healthy, nonsmoking a 34 year-old accountant went to a hospital in Belgium complaining of a cough and breathlessness during exercise, doctors were puzzled. They were also very concerned when his chest X-rays showed some patchy areas in his lungs. After learning that he was an amateur magician, the doctors were able to solve the mystery.
As part of his act, he blew up balloons and made figures out of them. The balloons were coated with talc, and since he blew up approximately 150,000 of them a year, he had inhaled enough talc to develop talcosis.
Talcosis usually affects factory workers who are exposed to large amounts of talc, most often in rubber factories. One woman developed lung disease 40 years after she worked for five years...
in a factory making rubber hoses. Doctors attributed her disease to high exposure to talc during those years.
Talc is toxic. Talc particles cause tumors in human ovaries and lungs. Numerous studies have shown a strong link between frequent use of talc in the female genital area and ovarian cancer. Talc particles are able to move through the reproductive system and become imbedded in the lining of the ovary.
The use of products containing talc has been implicated in an increased risk of ovarian cancer. A recent study found that women who use powder in their genital areas are 40% more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who don’t use powder, or use it only in other areas.
According to American cancer Association, a study reveals that women who used talcum powder to their external genital area or to have used genital deodorant sprays had a 50% to 90% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
If you are using talc on daily basis make sure that you do not inhale talc powder. Inhaling or swallowing talcum powder can certainly be harmful, as it can irritate the lungs and intestinal tract. For more safety, you can even buy products which are talc free with a similar function. In fact cornstarch is a healthier choice.