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Talc and its potential link to cancer

Talc, also known as magnesium silicate or 553, is a mineral based product that is used in a wide variety of industries and products from paper and paint, to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food additives.

For most people, the term talc is synonymous with a post-bathing product, also commonly called ‘baby powder’.

A 1993 study in the US called the safety of talc into question. This research found that talc’s ‘asbestos-like’ structure could be linked to certain types of cancers or tumours, and since this time there has been a question mark over the long-term safe use of talc by humans.

Many natural skincare companies offer talc-free cosmetics so it is easy to avoid in the products you regularly use. But for many, talc’s role as 553, an anti-caking agent in foods, is not well known and it is worth checking labels to see where it might be lurking unrealised in your pantry.

Read the 1993 study on Talc and cancer here . Could you use of talc be causing a skin irritation? Read about how to cure hives here.

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Lindy Schneider is a writer and researcher with a keen interest in health, wellbeing and natural childcare. She is an advocator of a chemical-free lifestyle in the best interests of her family, the community and a sustainable world. She lives in the Yarra Valley with her partner and two young children.

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