Use of Talcum Powder may Pose Threat to Life

Updated at: Apr 15, 2015
Use of Talcum Powder may Pose Threat to Life

Talcum powder or talc, has been used to dust and dry a baby's bottom for centuries, but little has been noticed about the toxicity that it contains.

Bhadra Kamalasanan
CancerWritten by: Bhadra KamalasananPublished at: Apr 15, 2015

Talcum powder has been for centuries used to dust and dry a baby’s bottom because apparently after a bowel movement, application of talcum powder was supposed to do the magic of wiping out remains of water and foul smell. But, little goes noticed about the level of toxicity that ingredients in a talcum powder have. Even though it is talked much blasphemously about among doctors, it is still a primary ingredient in a lot of baby powders as well as feminine hygiene products.

Talcum powder side-effects

What using Talc can cause

Talcum powder or talc is composed of small particles that when inhaled can lead to the lungs becoming inflamed. If you use talcum powder to dry a child’s bottom, he/she may easily inhale the dust and fall sick. Several doctors have reported the deaths of babies because of their exposure to talc. Some signs that your child may have inhaled talcum powder include shallow and fast breathing, blue tint to the skin, coughing, involuntary movement in the legs and arms and convulsions.


Endometrial cancer

A study conducted by Dr. Stalo Karageorgi and colleagues of Harvard School of Public Health and published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found a link between use of talc and endometrial cancer. Post-menopausal women who used talc as well as women who used talc on a regular basis ran the greatest risk of developing endometrial cancer.


Lung Cancer

MedlinePlus states that a woman/man runs a high risk of developing lung problems or cancer if her/his work involves a lot of exposure to talc. The link between use of talc for cosmetic purposes and lung cancer has not been established positively.


Ovarian Cancer

The Cancer Prevention Coalition says that use of feminine hygiene products that contain talc puts a woman at a rising risk for ovarian cancer. The talc can travel all the way through the reproductive system of a woman and lodge in the ovaries’ lining. Despite the risk, however, one in five women use talc as a way of maintaining feminine hygiene. The risk of ovarian cancer from use of talcum powder, The American Cancer Society notes, falls down when a woman goes through tubal ligation to prevent pregnancy.

If you experience a harsh side-effect upon use of talcum powder, visit the doctor immediately.


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