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Philippine FDA Issues Talc Powder Advisory

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The Food and Drug Administration for the Philippines has issued an advisory regarding the use of talc in cosmetic products in Southeast Asian nations.  The advisory relates to a warning that talc should be kept away from the noses and mouths of children to avoid inhalation.

The advisory is consistent with similar advisories issued by European countries and Canada concerning talc.  The US FDA has funded a study to determine talc’s link with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

Last year, the FDA agreed to fund a study investigating the possible links. According to the description of the study funded by the Office of Women’s Health, “Although some studies have examined the relation between talc and ovarian cancer, its effects on female genital system tissues have not been adequately investigated.”

The research is to “help fill some of the existing data gaps.”

There is also evidence that some talc has contained asbestos. Asbestos has been linked to deadly mesothelioma.  Talcum powder is made from talc, one of the world’s softest minerals coveted for its ability to improve textural feel and absorb moisture.  Talc deposits often are interwoven with asbestos fibers.

In 2016, record-setting $18 million verdict out of California was achieved after investigators found asbestos in talc products.  The lawsuit accused Whittaker, Clark & Daniels of marketing its talc as asbestos-free without adequately testing for traces of the toxic mineral.

The company supplied talc for several popular consumer talcum powder products, such as Desert Flower, Old Spice and Friendship Garden, in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The talc in those products originated from some asbestos-contaminated mines in North Carolina, Alabama and northern Italy.

Talc’s link to ovarian cancer remains under study but there is evidence of a link between the two.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Its major goal is to identify causes of cancer.

IARC classifies talc that contains asbestos as “carcinogenic to humans.”  Based on the lack of data from human studies and on limited data in lab animal studies, IARC classifies inhaled talc not containing asbestos as “not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans.”

Based on limited evidence from human studies of a link to ovarian cancer, IARC classifies the perineal (genital) use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

If you or a loved one have used talc-based products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder, please contact Attorney Joe Saunders for a free initial consultation.

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3491 Gandy Blvd
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Phone: (727) 579-4500
Phone: 1-800-748-7115

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