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Talcum Powder A Threat To Good Health?

Can something as innocent sounding as baby powder make you more vulnerable to health issues as serious as cancer?

Cosmetically used dusting powder is under a lot of fire lately thanks to lawsuits that link its regular usage to heightened cancer risk. Several women with ovarian cancer have been waging a legal battle on the pharmaceutical giant – Johnson, and Johnson, claiming that years of using their baby powder is to blame for their current health conditions. Baby powder is made using talc which contains magnesium and silicon. Unprocessed talc is known to contain traces of asbestos, a proven carcinogen. Since the carcinogenic nature of asbestos came to light, special efforts were made by talcum powder manufacturers to eliminate it. Scientists continue to be divided on whether today’s talcum powders still pose a health risk. However, here are some vital facts worth knowing if you are a regular user:

  1. It Increases The Risk Of Ovarian Cancer – All kinds of talcum powder, including baby-friendly variants, may expedite the development of ovarian cancer if female genitalia is exposed to it on a regular basis for a prolonged period.  
  2. Talc Is Found In Other Cosmetics As Well – Aside from dusting powder, soaps, toothpaste, and antiperspirants, most facial makeup products also contain talc.
  3. Cosmetic Dusting Powder Does Not Increase Lung Carcinoma Risk– Those who work in mines to extract talc may have a high chance of developing lung carcinoma over time as they end up inhaling large quantities of talc fibers and other toxic substances like radon. On the contrary, inhaling small quantities of talcum powder while using it cosmetically has not been shown to compromise your lungs enough to cause lung cancer.
  4. Reducing Usage Is A Safer Bet For WomenIt may be a wise choice for everyone to avoid the application of talcum powder directly on genitalia or on hygiene products, such as sanitary napkins. However, if you are already in the high-risk category due to other factors like obesity, you are better off avoiding the use of talcum powder altogether.

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