Canada finds Talc could be harmful to human health

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The Government of Canada says a draft screening assessment of talc has found it can be harmful to our health.

The mineral is used in many products from paper, ceramics, and plastics, to cosmetics, food and non-prescription drugs. Most uses seem safe, but the latest science finds inhaling loose talc powders, or using products containing talc on female genitals can cause health issues such as breathing difficulties or cancers.

The government is considering restricting the use of talc in some products like cosmetics and non-prescription drugs, pending the outcome of the final screening assessment.

The draft screening assessment will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and will be open for public comment for 60 days, until February 6, 2019. The Risk Management Scope, which outlines the possible measures to manage the risks identified in the draft screening assessment, will also be open for public comment for the same 60-day period. The final screening assessment and risk management approach will take into consideration any comments and new evidence received during the consultation period.

In Canada, cosmetics, natural health products and non-prescription drugs all require disclosure of the ingredients (medicinal and non-medicinal) on product labels. Canadians concerned about their exposure to talc can check the ingredient list on product labels, and avoid using loose talc powders that may be inhaled and products that contain talc in the female genital area.