Does Talc Cause Cancer?

Talc is a commonly used cosmetic ingredient and remains controversial regarding its safety. Some researchers believe talc causes cancer while others think talc has no cancer risk.

On one hand, several studies have established preliminary links between talc and pulmonary issues, lung cancer, skin cancer and ovarian cancer. In 1993, a US National Toxicology Program report found that cosmetic grade talc caused tumors in rats forced to inhale talc for 6 hours a day, five days a week over at least 113 weeks, even though it contained no asbestos-like fibers. In addition, researchers found particles of talc embedded in 75 percent of ovarian tumors studied[1].

On the other hand, a review in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology has made the following statement[2]: “Concerns that cosmetic talc might be carcinogenic are addressed and shown to lack persuasive scientific support. These concerns are based (1) on several, but not all, retrospective epidemiological, statistically barely significant case-control studies of questionable biological import…; (2) on one inhalation study in animals whose results, according to a panel of experts, ‘cannot be considered as relevant predictors of human risk,’ a position shared by other experts in the field; and (3) on elevated incidence of lung cancer in pottery workers. These workers were occupationally exposed several decades ago to nowadays impermissible concentrations of aerosols comprising a multitude of industrial dusts. To construe a risk for the consumer of pure cosmetic or pharmaceutical-grade talc under consumer conditions, based on these findings, lacks scientific support. Talc is not genotoxic, is not carcinogenic when injected into ovaries of rats,… There is no credible evidence of a cancer risk from inhalation of cosmetic talc by humans. Considering talc a carcinogen lacks convincing scientific documentation.”

To conclude, FDA considers non-asbestiform talc to be generally recognized as safe for use in cosmetics.

[2] Fred P. Wehner. Cosmetic Talc Should Not Be Listed as a Carcinogen: Comments on NTP’s Deliberations to List Talc as a Carcinogen. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Volume 36, Issue 1, August 2002, Pages 40-50.

One Response to “Does Talc Cause Cancer?”

  1. Noor says:

    here is some of the research I have done on SLS One or more ainmal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at moderate doses done by RTECSae- Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Scientific and Cancer links One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECSae- Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. I guess you have to determine what you think is best for you.

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