Health Canada Assessment Suggests that Talc May be Harmful to Human Health
Health Canada considering measures to prohibit or restrict the use of talc in certain cosmetics, natural health products and non-prescription drugs
December 5, 2018 - Ottawa, ON - Health Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health of Canadians and the environment. Through the Chemicals Management Plan, the Government assesses chemicals used in Canada, and takes action on those found to be harmful to human health or the environment.
Under the Chemicals Management Plan, Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada have completed a draft screening assessment of talc, a mineral used in many consumer products.
Most uses of talc (such as in paper, plastics, paint, ceramics, putties, food, as well as many cosmetics, natural health products and non-prescription drugs) are not a concern to human health. However, based on the latest science and the draft screening assessment, the Government of Canada proposes that inhaling loose talc powders and using certain products containing talc in the female genital area may be harmful to human health. As a result, the Government is considering measures that would prohibit or restrict the use of talc in a limited number of product types, such as certain cosmetics, natural health products and non-prescription drugs.
The draft screening assessment will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and will be open for public comment for 60 days, until February 6, 2019. The Risk Management Scope, which outlines the possible measures to manage the risks identified in the draft screening assessment, will also be open for public comment for the same 60-day period. The final screening assessment and risk management approach will take into consideration any comments and new evidence received during the consultation period.
In Canada, cosmetics, natural health products and non-prescription drugs all require disclosure of the ingredients (medicinal and non-medicinal) on product labels. Canadians concerned about their exposure to talc can check the ingredient list on product labels, and avoid using loose talc powders that may be inhaled and products that contain talc in the female genital area.
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
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