Health Canada issued a public health warning to Canadians today that talc, a natural mineral found in a vast variety of products is reportedly linked to cancer. According to Health Canada, talc can be found in numerous self-care products that Canadians typically use, such as cosmetics, natural health products and non-prescription drugs and if exposed, can cause a potential risk of "lung effects and ovarian cancer".
Health Canada conducted research into talc and is now proposing that "breathing in loose talc powder may cause lung effects, such as coughing, trouble breathing, decreased lung function and fibrosis" and also "exposure to the perineal area from the use of certain products containing talc is a possible cause of ovarian cancer".
Health Canada said in their release that the products affected were "cosmetics, natural health products, and non-prescription drugs containing talc as an ingredient in the form of loose powders (face, body, baby and foot powders) and products used in the perineal region (body powder, baby powder, diaper and rash creams, genital antiperspirants and deodorants, body wipes and bath bombs)." So it looks like Canadians should be wary of loose powder products containing talc.
Now, they are advising Canadians to do the following to prevent exposure to the potentially cancerous powder:
- avoid inhaling loose talc powders
- avoid female genital exposure to products containing talc
- keep baby powder away from a child's face to avoid inhalation
- check product labels for talc and choose talc-free alternatives if concerned
For more information on this public health alert, you can visit the report from Health Canada on their website.