Talc, Baby Powder And Cancer Risk

Women who used Baby Powder or similar talcum products have filed lawsuits, alleging baby powder caused their ovarian cancer. In 1971, a scientific study found talc particles in tumor tissue, and noted the “close association” between talc and the “asbestos group” of minerals:

An extraction-replication technique was used to examine tissue from patients with ovarian and cervical tumours. In both conditions talc particles were found deeply embedded within the tumour tissue. The close association of talc to the asbestos group of minerals is of interest.

A 1982 ovarian cancer study showed talcum powder or baby powder use by women resulted in double the risk for developing ovarian cancer, and regular use of talc powder tripled their risk for ovarian cancer when used for feminine hygiene purposes. According to the report:

Adjusted for parity and menopausal status, this difference yielded a relative risk of [almost double] for ovarian cancer associated with these practices. Women who had regularly engaged in both practices had an adjusted relative risk of [over triple] compared to women with neither exposure. This provides some support for an association between talc and ovarian cancer hypothesized because of the similarity of ovarian cancer to mesotheliomas and the chemical relation of talc to asbestos, a known cause of mesotheliomas.

Since then, more than a dozen studies have linked talcum powder to increased risks of ovarian cancer. Now, J&J faces more than 9,000 talcum powder lawsuits.

In 2006 the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified talcum powder as a possible human carcinogen if used in the female genital area. Having reviewed the scientific literature, the report concluded relative ovarian cancer risk increased 30% to 60% “among users of body powder” containing talc. The 2006 report also found “a distinct pattern of excess risk” for talcum powder users. The report’s conclusion: “Perineal use of talc-based body powder is possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

The Talc Ovarian Cancer FAQ contains numerous studies showing ovarian cancer risk increased with talc powder use, and estimates are ten percent of ovarian cancers are “talc related.”

And a newer study showed increased ovarian cancer risk among African American women who use baby powder.

Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

We are currently investigating ovarian cancer cases allegedly caused by talc products, including Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder® and Shower to Shower®. If you, or someone you know, developed ovarian cancer and you suspect talcum powder use, please fill out our confidential form for a free evaluation, as you may have a valuable legal claim.