Link between Talc and Ovarian Cancer

Pictures of smiling women and babies with naked bums have graced powder advertisements for almost a century. However, more and more studies have shown that the use of powder, e.g. baby powder can increase a woman's risk of ovarian cancer.

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Talcum powder has been advertised for decades by companies that claim to help remove friction, be gentle on the skin, and have a clean and pleasant aroma. This powder is commonly used by mothers to reduce diaper rash in infants and by women in general as personal hygiene.

A federal judge has ruled that thousands of women accused Johnson and Johnson of baby powder and other talc-based products for causing ovarian cancer claims against the company.

More than 16,000 lawsuits involve national litigation in several districts, which claim that J&J baby powder contains asbestos which can cause cancer in humans.

Talc powder is usually sold as "baby powder", "talcum powder", or "body powder" and contains mineral powder. Although it is often used by women as part of their daily hygiene, the use of powder in the genitals and perineal area, either by direct application or with the application of sanitary napkins, is associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Research has shown that dust can enter the genital tract and cause inflammation. The use of talcum powder in the long term which is often done in this area is believed to double or triple the risk of ovarian cancer.