Health Canada proposes new restrictions on talc in some personal care products, citing cancer risk

Health Canada is proposing expanded restrictions on the use of talc in some cosmetic and personal cleansing products due to the possibility of lung damage and cancer risk.

The new restrictions would expand warnings on the use of talc in products that could be inhaled, such as loose cosmetic face powders, as well as in products that come into contact with the female genital area, including bath bombs, body wipes and bubble bath products.

A final screening assessment recently completed by Health Canada and Environment Canada concluded that inhaling loose particles of talc could damage lungs, and that using talc in female personal care products could possibly cause ovarian cancer.

Health Canada had previously restricted the use of talc in powder-based products for infants and children, and mandated labels warning parents to keep them away from children’s faces to avoid inhalation.

Now, additional restrictions will be enacted warning of inhalation risks to adults and cancer links in females who use talc-based products for personal care.

Canadians who wish to provide feedback to the federal government on these proposed restrictions can do so until June 23.

Health Canada says ingesting talc or any skin contact with products such as paper, paint, plastics or ceramics that contain the mineral is not dangerous, nor is it dangerous in pressed-powder products, such as pressed powder makeup, and also considers it safe for use in dry shampoo, foot powder and in natural health products, and non-prescription drugs.

Talc, which is a naturally occurring mineral found in deposits in Canada and abroad, is also not harmful to the environment, according to scientific evidence studied by Environment Canada.

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