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Beware of Talcum Powder

We love the stuff, especially the perfumed ones. This season’s heat has us carrying it in our bags to shower it on whenever we can, but here’s the deal – scientists claim talcum powder cause cancer.

Talc is a mineral, produced by the mining of talc rocks and then processed by crushing, drying and milling. Talc is the main ingredient in baby powder, medicated powders, perfumed powders and designer perfumed body powders. And talc is toxic.

According to preventcancer.com, talc particles cause tumors in human ovaries and lungs. The site claims numerous studies show 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. Researchers have found talc particles in ovarian tumors and have found that women with ovarian cancer have used talcum powder in their genital area more frequently than healthy women.
Talc also poses a health risk when exposed to the lungs. Talc miners have shown higher rates of lung cancer. The common household hazard posed by talc is inhalation of baby powder by infants. Since the early 1980s, records show that several thousand infants each year have died or become seriously ill following accidental inhalation of baby powder.

The upsetting part is that Talc is found in a wide variety of consumer products ranging from home and garden pesticides to antacids. Because talc is resistant to moisture, it is also used by the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture medications and is a listed ingredient of some antacids. Talc is the principal ingredient home and garden pesticides and flea and tick powders. Talc is used in smaller quantities in deodorants, chalk, crayons, textiles, soap, insulating materials, paints, asphalt filler, paper, and in food processing.

But even after this find, many claim that the relationship between talcum powder and cancer is by no means certain. ivillage.co.uk states that there maybe no relationship at all. While talc could be an important contributing factor in the development of ovarian cancer, more studies need to be done. And while there is no hard evidence to suggest talcum powder use causes cancer in babies, the immediate danger of inhaling baby powder is clear.

That’s the finding so far, what we do with it is up to us.

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