Talc powder or talcum powder is based on mineral talc and this talc includes elements like magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Once the mineral talc is processed and converted into powder, it will increase its ability to absorb moisture and lower friction which ultimately means that it will help the skin stay dry and protect it from rashes and redness.
As you probably know many cosmetic products contain talc and some of these products include facial powder products and adult and baby body powder products.
Talcum Powder and Cancer
In its natural state, talc comes with asbestos. This compound is often related to the emergence of different types of cancer especially to lung cancer due to repeated inhalation. When the scientists discovered this fact, the manufacturers started creating asbestos-free talcum powder.
Despite this fact, we should mention that there are few other health risks linked to the use of talc powder and we will mention the most common ones in this article.
Talcum Powder and Lung Cancer
As we have already mentioned, the talc powder that people use today is free of asbestos, but it turns out that there are a small number of individuals who still have chances of witnessing the emergence of lung cancer and few other respiratory problems due to inhalation of talc powder and other products based on talcum.
Talc miners and talc millers are some of these people because they are constantly exposed to different compounds that are dangerous (like radon for example).
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Talc powder has been linked to ovarian cancer for many decades. The chances of developing ovarian cancer when using talc powder is increased when users use products that can attract talcum powder particles like diaphragms, condoms and sanitary napkins.
The same goes for those who will use talc powder close to the genitalia. It turns out that in cases like this, powder particles enter the vagina and go to the uterus and Fallopian tubes all the way to the ovaries.
Numerous studies have confirmed the link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder although there is no strong evidence that can confirm that ovarian cancer can be a direct result of using talc powder. There are certain scientific studies that suggest that the chances of any woman developing such cancer are very low, but because this powder is used in many products, the risk is increased.
Other Types of Cancer
Even though talc powder use has not been associated with other types of cancer, a recently published scientific study claims that talcum powder has the ability to boost the chances of developing uterine and/or endometrial cancer. Of course, this frequency is higher in women, but only in those who have passed the menopause.
In addition, there are some studies that indirectly suggest that exposure to talc powder can be linked to some other cancers like stomach cancer.
Specialist agencies and certain organizations are constantly highlighting the risk of overexposure to talc and that there is a possibility that this product is carcinogenic. Even though there is no sufficient data and information, talc inhalation that doesn’t come with any traces of asbestos is believed to be safe.
But, there is a small amount of evidence about the link between talcum powder and cancer, these chances are increased when people use these products for genital hygiene or perineal care.
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