GEORGE TOWN, May 22 -- The Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the Ministry of Health (MOH) to ban talcum powder and talc-based products in Malaysia.
Its president Mohideen Abdul Kader said the primary component in talcum powder is magnesium silicate hydroxide (commonly known as talc), which he claims carries toxic particles that could cause tumours in human ovaries and lungs.
"Talcum powder has been directly used on the skin as an effective absorbent to help deodorise and for imparting a silky touch. Talc is similar to asbestos in composition; it is found in baby powder, and cosmetics such as eye shadow, blush and deodorant.
"Talc particles are capable of moving up the reproductive system and embedding themselves in the lining of the ovary. Researchers have found talc particles in ovarian tumour and have found that women with ovarian cancer have used talcum powder in their genital more frequently than healthy women," he said in a statement here today.
He added that in Malaysia, ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women, with about 500 being diagnosed with the disease each year.
He advised consumers to use powder made from corn or rice flour and mothers to use ointments instead of medicated powders for rashes in babies.
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