Talcum Powder’s Link to Ovarian Cancer

There has been a lot of recent talk about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, concerns about this connection appear to be well founded. In 2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the use of talc-based body powder in the perineal (genital) area as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”1 This is particularly worrisome news for women, many of whom have used talc-based baby powder products, such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, since a young age. Long-term use may be one of the causal components in its connection between ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder in the genital area.

What is talc? Simply put, talc is a mineral made up of various elements such as magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc may or may not contain asbestos. Talc containing asbestos has been proven to cause cancer in the lungs when it is inhaled. However, generally speaking, most of today’s consumer products do not contain talc with asbestos. Nevertheless, the American Cancer Society indicates that “the evidence about asbestos-free talc, which is still widely used, is less clear.”2 This statement, which can be found on the American Cancer Society’s website, is reason enough for any female with (or without) ovarian cancer to be concerned.

In one study, which was performed in 1982, by Harvard professor, Dr. Daniel W. Cramer, together with his colleagues, 215 women with ovarian cancer and 215 healthy women, who served as a control group, were compared. The results revealed the following, “Compared with nonusers, women who used talcum powder were at nearly twice the risk for having ovarian cancer, and those who used it regularly on their genitals and sanitary pads were at more than three times the relative risk.”3

The bottom line? If you or someone you love has used talcum powder and has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it may well have been caused by the use of that powder. Please contact the Law Offices of Phillips and Associates for a free consultation.


1 American Cancer Society website. Talcum Powder and Cancer (May 3, 2016) http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum-powder-and-cancer

2 Ibid

3 Lawsuits Over Baby Powder Raise Questions About Cancer Risk By Roni Caryn Rabin, The NY Times (May 23, 2016) http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/lawsuits-over-baby-powder-raise-questions-about-cancer-risk/