Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that is used in many cosmetic and hygienic products. One of the most dangerous aspects of talc is how it can be contaminated with asbestos, a known cancer-causing mineral. Talc is mined in the same places where asbestos exists. When talc particles are mixed with asbestos, they can be even more dangerous.

Talc has been used in cosmetics for many years, but it wasn’t until recently that scientists began to understand the link between talc and cancer, leading consumers to wonder: How do talc products cause cancer?

The short answer is asbestos fibers can become lodged in the lining of your lungs, heart, or abdomen and over time cause inflammation and genetic damage that leads to mesothelioma. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Talc particles can travel through the body and become lodged in the lungs or other organs.

When these talc particles are inhaled, they can cause inflammation and lead to cancerous tumors. This is how talcum powders like Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder cause cancer.

Johnson & Johnson is just one of many talcum powder products that can cause cancer.

 

Is Talc Safe?

There is a lot of debate surrounding whether Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and other talc items are safe to use. At least “one lot” of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder was recalled due to asbestos contamination, which made it clear to consumers that the product was unsafe while it was made with talcum powder.

One study found that women who used talc on their groin area had a 33% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Another study found that workers who were exposed to talc at work had an increased risk of lung cancer. Women were the primary people who used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and other talcum powders.

It should be noted that these studies are far from conclusive. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified talc as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

So, what’s the verdict? Is talc safe or not? If you’re concerned about the safety of talc, you may want to avoid using it. 

 

Talc and Mesothelioma

In recent years, talc has been linked to multiple cancers, such as ovarian cancer, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue encapsulating chest or abdominal organs.

The only cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. While most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in people who have worked with asbestos, or were victims of occupational asbestos exposure, there are also a small number of cases that occur in people who may have unknowingly been exposed to asbestos in their own home. Talc and clay products contaminated with asbestos can also be a source of exposure.

The most well-known talc product linked to asbestos and cancer is Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder. The pharmaceutical corporation has faced years of public controversy and asbestos lawsuits due to asbestos in its talc.

If you have any concerns about talc or how it can affect your health, contact our registered nurse, Karen Ritter, at karen@mesotheliomaguide.com. She can help answer questions related to your health or possible asbestos exposure. 

 

    Sources & Author

     

    Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer. Drugwatch. Retrieved from: https://www.drugwatch.com/talcum-powder/ovarian-cancer/#:~:text=33%25%20Higher%20Risk&text=Women%20who%20said%20they%20regularly,Powder%20or%20Shower%20to%20Shower. Accessed: 07/29/22.

     

    Occupational Exposure to Talc Increases the Risk of Lung Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Occupational Cohort Studies. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5610800/. Accessed: 07/29/22.

     

    Talcum Powder and Cancer. American Cancer Society. Retrievd from: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/chemicals/talcum-powder-and-cancer.html#:~:text=Its%20major%20goal%20is%20to,as%20to%20carcinogenicity%20in%20humans.%E2%80%9D. Accessed: 07/29/22.

     

Camryn Keeble image

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is a content writer and community outreach member for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates mesothelioma-related content for the Mesothelioma Guide website. Camryn's goal is to decipher advanced information regarding mesothelioma into informative, simplified content to educate those affected by mesothelioma. She also works diligently to raise awareness of mesothelioma and its effects on patients and their loved ones by participating in daily outreach.

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    Sources & Author

Picture of Camryn Keeble

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is a content writer and community outreach member for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates mesothelioma-related content for the Mesothelioma Guide website. Camryn's goal is to decipher advanced information regarding mesothelioma into informative, simplified content to educate those affected by mesothelioma. She also works diligently to raise awareness of mesothelioma and its effects on patients and their loved ones by participating in daily outreach.