Talc Powder: Silent Killer?



Baby powder has been used in homes for generations. Many cosmetic products have talc as a main ingredient. But there has been alarming information that has been released about the substance within the last several years. It is being linked to some very serious and sometimes fatal health issues. Let's take a bit of a deeper look into this issue. Talcum power is made of a mineral comprising of silicon, oxygen and magnesium. It is an excellent barrier on skin to prevent friction and keeps skin dry.

Talc power can become harmful as it did contain asbestos in its natural form. Asbestos is a substance that has proven and intrinsic links to cancer. Namely lung and breast cancer. While asbestos was taken out of the talc powder that is used commercially in 1970, other concerns still loom regarding the safety of it as a whole. The first indication of another issue with the powder was sparked in 1971 regarding ovarian cancer. This was after talc particles were actually found in extracted cancerous cells from the ovaries. A common practice for some women in those days was to sprinkle a bit of the powder in their underwear for increased freshness. But could this small trick actually be life threatening? Many people think so.

The warning was echoed in 1992 in a national publication called Obstetrics & Gynecology. This study did confirm that women who frequently used talc powder, have a greater risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. What happens is that the talc particles can travel through the vaginal canal and work its way into the ovaries. This is shocking and incredibly scary, as such a common practice has cost women their ovaries, their child bearing abilities and even their lives. After that initial official report was released, another 12 major science articles speaking about a link between talc powder and cancer were also released.

Unsurprisingly, the mortality rate of women who suffer from ovarian cancer and are over the age of 60 years old has increased exponentially. The numbers are both astounding and heartbreaking as over 15,000 women die from ovarian cancer each year. Those numbers makes this type of cancer the fourth most common fatal cancer that women contract. A stark and scary reality. While the new awareness of the dangers can help women avoid similar pitfalls, it should be noted that this type of thing happens on a pretty consistent basis.

There are numerous additives and chemicals that are found in cosmetics and skin care products, that we aren't even aware are harmful and potentially detrimental to us. It usually takes one specific study to ignite a spark under certain researchers and scientists regarding the connection between the harmful agent and dangerous side effects. But at that point, it's too late for a select portion of people that already suffer from some type of unsavory consequence. The bottom line is that harmful chemicals and additives should not be included in our products. Going natural seems to be the best way to prevent this.

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