The FDA approval and feedback are essentially required for any products to be deemed safe for public use. These products may include various foods, drugs, beauty and cosmetic substances. The controversies surrounding some of these products, gives rise to an important the question as to whether they’re safe and free from causing health hazards, especially to the human body. Talcum powder is one such product that has raised suspicions among the users.
In this article, you’ll learn about one key ingredient of talcum powder – the famous asbestos. You’ll find out how the dangerous asbestos in products containing talcum powder can affect you.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a material composition of six natural occurring minerals – actinolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, amosite, and chrysotile. These minerals contain thing needle-shaped fibers which if ingested or inhaled can cause dangerous respiratory complications among other deadly health problems.
What Is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is a product of talc – a naturally earth-mined mineral that contains hydrogen, oxygen, silicon, and magnesium elements. Talc is a common element used in the manufacture of both industrial and consumer products like talcum powder. Talcum powder is cheaper, moisture absorbent, and multipurpose, making it suitable for use wide uses. The powder is used to moisturize the skin to protect it from irritation, rashes and cracking.
What Is The Relationship Between Asbestos And Talcum Powder?
Naturally, the talc mineral used to make talcum powder occurs near asbestos. During the mining process, asbestos can contaminate talc, resultantly imparting harmful effects in the products. Products like talcum powder will, therefore, become equally dangerous as the asbestos material itself.
Effects Of The Asbestos Found In Talcum Powder
Inhalation or ingestion of the thin asbestos fibers found in talcum powder into the body can lead to clogging and over time forms a buildup in body tissues. It’s hard for the body system to remove accumulated fiber or even break them down. The application of talcum powder in industrial and consumer product can make its asbestos deposits over time cause any or a combination of the following conditions. You better be careful next time you pick industrial materials to transform your home and make it gorgeous. The market may be saturated with asbestos infested materials.
- Pleural Thickening
Asbestos can affect the pleural membrane. The membrane is a thin-layers tissue on the surface of the pleural cavity lying underneath the chest wall. It facilitates smooth movement of the lungs by ensuring lubrication of the pleural layers. Exposure to asbestos found in talcum powder can predispose the pleural membrane to malfunction. Accumulation of the fine asbestos fibers thicken the pleural membrane causing it to swell. Swelled membranes may squeeze and hinder the movement of lungs. The chest becomes uncomfortable with the underlying struggling lungs. It can cause difficulty in breathing and in extreme cases, it can lead to death.
Although it occurs rarely, mesothelioma caused by asbestos affects the peritoneum – the thing lining covering the surface of the lower digestive track and the pleura – lung lining. It results from the accumulation of asbestos fibers on these two linings. This cancer is fatal because it’s normally not diagnosed until it hits advanced stages. The cancer can affect the heart (rare cases), abdomen, the chest, and the lungs. High cases of mesothelioma are linked to exposure to asbestos. This cancer is prevalent among people working in the manufacture of gas masks containing asbestos, the textile, and mining industry involve with asbestos. Mesothelioma risks are also high among people working in industries that use asbestos to make their insulation materials, and those working in shipyards and factories using asbestos. Those living near asbestos mines, living with people working in asbestos industries also risk mesothelioma.
Intense exposure to asbestos for a prolonged duration can cause complicated lung problems – a condition known as asbestosis. It can result in constant breathing difficulties which may escalate to serious respiratory health threats. Asbestos scar lung tissues hindering their efficiency while breathing. Asbestosis condition in severe cases may even cause cardiac failure. The risk is rare for people not involved directly with asbestos powders. Individuals working in building demotions and renovations using materials with talc powder are at risk, but this depends on the intensity of the exposure.
- Lung Cancer
The highest number of asbestos-related deaths fall in this category. Asbestos-caused lung cancer has the same formation as the cancer from smoking. The symptoms may include anemia, hoarseness, constant chest pains, and breathing difficulties as possible signs of lung cancer. The risk is higher for people who smoke and are exposed to asbestos.
Talc powder is made from talc mineral, which occurs near asbestos. This may get contaminated by the asbestos mineral elements during mining. Talcum powder is used in both industrial and consumer products, thus posing health threats due to its hazardous health problems. It’s known to cause pleural thickening, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Therefore, you need to be aware of these health hazards of talcum powder.