Talc: Toxic Chemical and Carcinogen found in common Household Powders

According to the US National Cancer Institute, 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer were diagnosed in 2010 of which 14,000 died. A research was carried out to determine what increases a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer. The following are the result of what increases a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer.
1.       Family history of the disease
2.       Inherited risk
3.       Use of hormonal replacement therapy
4.       Use of fertility drugs
5.       Obesity, and
6.       Use of Talc.

Talc is a chemical found in a common household product known as Powder. Talc is a major component of all kinds of powder known as talcum powder. Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up of chemicals such as magnesium, silicon and oxygen. The household and social function of talc is to absorb moisture and reduce friction, keeping the skin dry and preventing rashes caused by heat. Some of the household products where talc or talcum powder is found include baby powders, adult and facial powder.

As a component in household products, there has been concern about the possible link between this supposed toxic chemical and ovarian cancer. It is important to distinguish between talc that contains asbestos and talc that is asbestos-free. Talc that contains asbestos has been long known to be carcinogenic and can cause lung cancer. This has prompted companies to remove talc that contains asbestos from powder products. Evidence of asbestos-free talc in modern day household product is clear.

However, recent research studies have confirmed that talc itself increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer in women. This latest study, carried out by a certain Daniel Cramer MD of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), shows that this carcinogenic toxic material increases the risk of ovarian cancer by 30%. It was also discovered that pre-menopausal women who frequently use talc may have a threefold increase in their risk of invasive serous cancer of the ovary.

So how does talc becomes a carcinogen in order to cause ovarian cancer? Although it is not totally clear how this toxic material causes ovarian cancer but research work offers some explanation.

1.        It possible that the frequent use of talc on the genitals and failure to clean it off allow the particles of this carcinogen to enter the ovary via the vagina to cause cancer. When these toxic materials enter the ovaries, they cause irritation and low level inflammation of the ovaries. Scientists believe that the long-term, low level inflammation is what increases the risk of ovarian cancer. This true because particles of talc have been found in the lymph nodes and other tissues of women with ovarian cancer.

2.        Also, women who use this alleged carcinogen called talc have been shown to have low level of the antibody, Anti MUC 1, than those who don’t use. Therefore, it is possible that talc reduces the level of this antibody. It is believed that this antibody is linked with the prevention of cancer formation in body cells.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.