CAP warns of ovarian cancer risk in talcum powder

Instead of using talcum powder which poses health risks, consumers should use traditional bedak sejuk (rice talcum), says the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP).

The association made the call following finding in the US that suggest that women who use talcum powder are 40% more likely to suffer from ovarian cancer.

A website that provides medical news, http://www.news-medical.net/, reported that the study also revealed that the risk was greater still for those with a certain genetic profile.

The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Maggie Gates,was also reported as saying that women should avoid using talcum powder in the genital area until more research was done.

Despite the dangers associated with talcum powder, there were numerous talcum powder products in the market. Some of these products were also baby products.

The primary component in talcum powder is magnesium silicate hydrozide, also commonly known as talc, which is the main ingredient in baby, medicated and designer perfumed body powder.

“Talc particles are capable of moving up the reproductive system and being embedded in teh ovary lining,” says Mohd Idris, CAP president.


The following were excerpts from The Star 16 February 2009.

I am a powder addict, especially St. Luke’s prickly heat powder. I can’t live without them especially in these scorching hot weather of ours. I don’t apply them ‘down there’ though (Why would people need to apply talc down south?). This is not the first time I’ve read horrified news about powders but I still uses them, can’t help myself.

But when I read that talc is present in baby powder it gets me thinking, what do I do now? Of coz, talc is present in baby powder-la, it IS the main ingredient. What do I do now? Should I stop applying them onto Ethan? Aw, then he won’t smell good and look cute anymore. I always smack a whole lot of powder onto Ethan after bathing until he looks like a chicken coated with flour and ready to hit the wok!

Now I think I shall go gentle with the powder and not use too much on Ethan. But I will not stop though, coz I am not applying them down south on Ethan too. Only on his underarms, neck and many other creases of his body except ‘down there’.

As for me? I’ll still continue using my St. Luke’s prickly heat powder. Unless…. one day Malaysia is no longer hot and humid!

About the Author: Merryn Tan

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