Contaminated baby powders may be linked to rare form of cancer, study suggests

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(Morgan Brinlee/ Romper) — A new study published in The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests contaminated baby powders may be linked to a rare cancer. In a case study of 33 patients, researchers found strong evidence that exposure to asbestos-contaminated talcum powder, such as that’s often used in baby powders, can result in malignant mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer known to affect the lungs, abdomen, and heart.

“All the folks in the study used cosmetic talc, usually for decades, and they all had mesothelioma with no other asbestos source,” Dr. Jacqueline Moline, professor, Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health, and the study’s lead author, tells Romper of her team’s findings.

Researchers reviewed data, medical records, sworn testimonies, the results of tissue digestions, when available, and even conducted some face-to-face interviews to determine potential asbestos exposure sources. “We couldn’t find any other source [of exposure] apart from the cosmetic talc,” Moline says. (…)

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