The draft screening assessment report, which was jointly conducted by Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada, proposes that inhaling loose talc powders and exposure to the female genital area from the use of certain products containing talc may be harmful to human health.
Cosmetics, natural health products, and non-prescription drugs containing talc as an ingredient in the form of loose powders (face, body, baby and foot powders) and products used in the perineal region (body powder, baby powder, diaper and rash creams, genital antiperspirants and deodorants, body wipes and bath bombs).
Talc is a naturally-occurring mineral used as an ingredient in a wide variety of products including cosmetics, natural health products, and non-prescription drugs.
Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada have conducted a joint draft scientific screening assessment of talc, under the Chemicals Management Plan, focusing on certain cosmetics, natural health products, and non-prescription drugs. Based on this draft assessment, current scientific evidence indicates that inhalation exposure to loose powder products containing talc such as baby, body, face and foot powders may cause non-cancerous lung effects such as coughing, breathing difficulties, and decreased lung function.
Who is affected
Information for consumers
Talc is a naturally-occurring mineral used as an ingredient in a wide variety of products.
The Government of Canada has conducted a draft screening assessment of the potential health risks of talc. This draft assessment focuses mainly on the safety of talc in self-care products such as cosmetics, natural health products, and non-prescription drugs.
The draft assessment proposes that:
- breathing in loose talc powder may be harmful to the lungs
- using products containing talc in the female genital area is a possible cause of ovarian cancer
The assessment does not suggest that there is a health risk when taken by mouth (e.g. prescription drugs) or of talc contact with the skin (excluding the female genital area). 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 containing talc in the female genital area.
If parents and caregivers are concerned about current or previous use of products containing talc on their children, they should consult their healthcare professional.
Patients using products containing talc should inform their healthcare professional if they experience any side effects.
- Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s draft screening assessment of talc proposes that:
- breathing in loose talc powder may cause lung effects, such as coughing, trouble breathing, decreased lung function and fibrosis; and
- exposure to the perineal area from the use of certain products containing talc is a possible cause of ovarian cancer.
- On December 5, 2018, the draft screening assessment report was published on Health Canada’s website.
- This draft assessment focuses on the safety of talc in self-care products such as cosmetics, natural health products, and non-prescription drugs (e.g., baby, body, face and foot powders; diaper and rash creams; genital antiperspirants and deodorants; body wipes and bath bombs).
- The draft screening assessment did not identify human health risks from oral talc exposures (e.g., oral exposure from tablet preparations), other dermal exposures (non-perineal), or inhalation exposures from pressed talc powder products.
- Healthcare professionals are advised to remind patients to:
- avoid inhaling loose talc powders;
- avoid female genital exposure to products containing talc;
- keep baby powder away from a child’s face to avoid inhalation;
- check product labels for talc and choose talc-free alternatives if concerned.
- Healthcare professionals are invited to comment on the draft screening assessment during the Canada Gazette 60-day public comment period ending on February 6, 2019.
- Should the final screening assessment confirm that talc is harmful to human health, the Government will consider various tools to manage the risk.
Source : Release / Health Canada