Ceramic and Talc

Sir Sir
I was watching How It's Made today, and I noticed something interesting. They were making ceramic tiles, and one of the ingredients in ceramic surprised me: none other than talc, the stuff that most people in this community say to stay away from and instead use cornstarch when dusting our toys.

So what I'm wondering is, are our safe ceramic dildos being made with this? Is the coating what keeps the talc from harming us? Are the ceramic dildos made with a different solution? Or are they not safe at all and do we just think that they are?
10/30/2010
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Jenn (aka kissmykitty) Jenn (aka kissmykitty)
I know nothing about this, but you definitely bring up some interesting points. Who would we go to in order to find out? LOL.
10/30/2010
Shellz31 Shellz31
Hmmm, very interesting!
I'd like to try a ceramic toy in the future but would like to see your questions answered first.
What say the coating wears off over time .... is that possible with rubbing?
10/30/2010
Naughty Student Naughty Student
I think that we are told to stay away from talcum powder bcs it used to be made with soemthing in it that could be harmful but I thing that most talc powders now aren't harmful. I am sure the talc that is used isn't the harmful kind but it would still be soemthing to look into.
10/30/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Since the talc used to make ceramic plates, mugs, and dildos is not aerosolized (the form in which talc is considered dangerous -- as when puffed from a container of baby powder), it is considered safe. The talc is also bonded to other compounds when making ceramics, so it is inert in its bonded state. Add a layer of body-safe glaze and ceramic becomes even safer.

Talc is even found, to certain levels, in our food.

Aerosolized talc, like many irritants in the air (like aesbestos), can cause lung cancer. There has also been a correlation with ovarian cancer, but researchers do not yet understand the mechanism by which it occurs. Both the lungs and the reproductive organs, such as the ovaries, are formed by the mesoderm -- and cancer is known to metastisize to tissues of similar origin. It is thought that inhalation is the greatest danger. We should always be extra careful to avoid inhaling as many fumes and particles as possible.
10/30/2010
Sir Sir
Quote:
Originally posted by Selective Sensualist
Since the talc used to make ceramic plates, mugs, and dildos is not aerosolized (the form in which talc is considered dangerous -- as when puffed from a container of baby powder), it is considered safe. The talc is also bonded to other compounds ... More
Alright, so it's mainly in the inhalants that make it harmful? Then why are we keeping people from using talcum powder to dust their toys? The talc used in the ceramic tiles was the same as talcum powder, only it was mixed with other powders to make the finished product.

I do understand what you mean, but I do not see how there is a difference between specifically the powder used in the ceramic dildos and the powder used in ceramic tiles to the powder that we dust our dildos off with.
10/30/2010
Sir Sir
Quote:
Originally posted by Jenn (aka kissmykitty)
I know nothing about this, but you definitely bring up some interesting points. Who would we go to in order to find out? LOL.
I have no idea!

Shellz31: I'm wondering the exact same thing!

Naughty Student: That's what I'm thinking actually, but why should we warn against them then if they are not harmful in any way? Shouldn't we be fine with saying "you may use talcum powder, but cornstarch might be safer?"
10/30/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Quote:
Originally posted by Sir
Alright, so it's mainly in the inhalants that make it harmful? Then why are we keeping people from using talcum powder to dust their toys? The talc used in the ceramic tiles was the same as talcum powder, only it was mixed with other powders to ... More
While talc has not been 100% positively linked to cancer, it has been correlated with it -- particularly aerosolized talc with lung cancer. There have been a few studies which show a correlation of talcum use with ovarian cancer as well.

Even if you could safely dust your toy with talc while wearing a mask to prevent inhalation, researchers are not 100% certain of the mechanism by which talc could cause ovarian cancer. While they have been better able to demonstrate a correlation between inhalation of talc and lung cancer, they have not been able to effectively DISprove that absorption of talcum powder through membranous tissues can lead to cancer (though they have not exactly proven it either).

They have their theories (see my above post about how ovarian cancer could be secondarily caused by inhalation), but just to be cautious, it is advisable to not allow loose talcum powder to soak into your skin (especially membranous skin which more readily absorbs substances). Corn starch is thus considered to be much safer for use around the genitalia since there are no adverse effects correlating it with disease.

However, just because there are cautions against inhaling talc (as well as against using loose talc on membranous tissue), this does not mean that talc is dangerous in all forms. There have been absolutely no indications that drinking from ceramic mugs with lead-free glazes are dangerous, for example -- even though the absorbent membranes of the inner lip make contact with it. The ingredients in the formulation of ceramic dishes have been bonded by firing in a kiln, precluding most loose materials rubbing off on or being absorbed by the skin. To make the ceramic non-absorbent to liquids, it is glazed, which also prevents anything from the ceramic composite from leaching into the skin.

It would be difficult to imagine how you could absorb or inhale the talc which is used in ceramics as it is not exactly "loose" and absorbable. It has been mixed with other ingredients to which it forms bonds and is stable. Plus, the glaze provides an even greater degree of protection.

Keep in mind that many objects which you use on a daily basis could be dangerous to you if they were broken down into their various components as they would then be allowed to react with other chemicals to form a new compound or molecule that could potentially be dangerous.

Additionally, there is more than one type of ceramic mixture on the market. Just because talc is used to formulate the ceramic in tiles does not mean that talc is used to formulate the ceramic in plates or sex toys. But even if it was, the amount used may be negligible (not to mention being present in a different form that poses a much, much lower risk of inhalation or absorption).
10/31/2010
Sir Sir
Quote:
Originally posted by Selective Sensualist
While talc has not been 100% positively linked to cancer, it has been correlated with it -- particularly aerosolized talc with lung cancer. There have been a few studies which show a correlation of talcum use with ovarian cancer as well.

Even ... More
That's exactly what I was asking. Thank you for answering and explaining in further detail! Since I have done statistics for a while, I know the difference between "correlation" and an actual cause of something - they're two very different things, so I understand completely now what you mean by that.

Thank you again for this in-depth response!
10/31/2010
Spilock Spilock
As an art major, I'm currently in a Ceramics class and have a little insight here. If there is a form of talc, it would be mixed in with the clay, and inert, as mentioned. That said, I'm assuming that a ceramics manufacturer would much rather have a more purified clay, which wouldn't involve talc.

Also, it's very unlikely that you'll actually come in contact with any of the clay's constituents, as they would have a much harder and sharper texture. What you'll actually be coming in contact with is the mineral glaze, the outermost layer of which is actually melted into glass during the firing process. You should look into this further before quoting me on it, but I would assume that you could very much so treat a ceramics toy in a similar fashion to a glass toy, since the glaze itself turns somewhat into a glass.
10/31/2010
Love Buzz Love Buzz
Quote:
Originally posted by Spilock
As an art major, I'm currently in a Ceramics class and have a little insight here. If there is a form of talc, it would be mixed in with the clay, and inert, as mentioned. That said, I'm assuming that a ceramics manufacturer would much ... More
Yeah, Im thinking that any kind of glaze coating on a ceramic toy would prevent anything that is in the actual ceramic (talc/clay plaster/whatever) won't come into contact with any part of your body - unless of course the sealant is damaged or the toy breaks (like smashed against the ground)

If concerned Id reccommend speaking with the manufacturers, possibly even via eden link


But great question, and point for discussion
10/31/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Quote:
Originally posted by Sir
That's exactly what I was asking. Thank you for answering and explaining in further detail! Since I have done statistics for a while, I know the difference between "correlation" and an actual cause of something - they're two very ... More
You're welcome!

I wish I had more definitive answers regarding what formulation the companies use. I couldn't find a breakdown of the materials on either the Lovemoiselle site or the Duncan Charles site. I did send an e-mail to Duncan Charles asking them to visit this thread or to reply back to me.

I hope they can enlighten us much further.
10/31/2010
Laura Ricklin Laura Ricklin
I would first like to thank Selective Sensualist for bringing this discussion and concerns about ceramic toys to my attention. We are more than happy to answer any questions one may have and stand behind the safety of our ceramic toys 100%. The following statement should explain talc and ceramic, answering many of your concerns. TALC (3MgO • 4SiO2 • H2O): Magnesium silicate, soap stone. Used to increase thermal expansion. Only possibly dangerous if inhaled in powder form and it can affect respiratory system (by California standards only). There are two types of clays; refined and ones in their natural states witch include talc, like ones used for tiles and bricks. Clays used for dishes and toys are refined clays. We at Duncan Charles Designs use refined clay.
Also, as mentioned before, talc is a factor in its powder form. Once the clay is bisque fired to 2000 F or more (depending on type of clay), it becomes solid – no more loose particles. Then, it is glazed and re-fired again. In reality, glaze type is more important then the talc in clay. There are strict international guide lines for glazes. Food grade glazes which are lead free and non food grade which include lead. We use food grade glazes only which conforms to ASTM D-4236 standard, your dishes will use the same type of glazes. Unglazed ceramic would be safe for use but it would not be smooth and over time will get dirty and hard to clean. An example would be the unglazed ring at the bottom of some of your bowls or coffee mugs.
One could make the same argument for rubber and glass, which does use far more dangerous carcinogens, but once in a solid state, it is no longer a threat. I appreciate all of the comments made in this post and thank you for giving me the chance to comment.
10/31/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Thank you for this information, Laura!
11/01/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Oh, I also wanted to mention that there are two types of body dusting powders available on the market: those which use corn starch in the formulation and those which use talc.

I highly recommend choosing the starch version of body dusting powders, given the strong correlation between inhaling talc and lung cancer (and the suspected correlation to ovarian cancer).
11/01/2010
Mr. & Mrs. Peg Mr. & Mrs. Peg
I would think that the talc in ceramic is baked solid and then glazed so it shouldn't be a problem. Glazed ceramic doesn't leave a residue and I believe that is what is hazardous.

As for using talc in its powdered form...we don't let it in the house.
01/11/2011
ScottA ScottA
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. & Mrs. Peg
I would think that the talc in ceramic is baked solid and then glazed so it shouldn't be a problem. Glazed ceramic doesn't leave a residue and I believe that is what is hazardous.

As for using talc in its powdered form...we ... More
Many other things are dangerous when powdered but not dangerous otherwise. Rock is one of them - in its solid form it's usually no problem, but grind it up and inhale and you risk silicosis.
01/11/2011
Rawhide Rawhide
Fascinating thread. You learn something new everyday.
12/08/2011
Total posts: 18
Unique posters: 11