Talc, which contains asbestos can cause talcum powder cancer when inhaled, although evidence related to asbestos-free talc, is less clear. Many studies among women have looked at the possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, and some researchers believe that the talc powder particles, when used in the genital region, may move through the vagina, uterus, and Fallopian tubes to the ovaries.
There have been many conflicting results regarding whether the use of talcum powder in the genital area can lead to an increased risk of talcum powder ovarian cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer states:
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Based on the limited evidence from human studies of a link to ovarian cancer, IARC classifies the genital use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
Understanding Talcum Powder Cancer, Baby Powder Cancer, and Talc Cancer of the Ovaries; How Does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?
While Johnson & Johnson does make several powder products with cornstarch rather than talcum powder, they continue to manufacture one J & J baby powder, as well as J & J Shower to Shower, which contains talc. Consider the following warnings regarding talcum powder cancer & baby powder cancer of the ovaries:
- The first warning of potential risks associated with using talc in the genital area came in 1971 when an article in The Lancet warned that “The potentially harmful effects of talc…in the ovary…should not be ignored.”
- In 1992, a study was published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology which found regular use of baby powder with talc in the genital region increased a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer threefold.
- A 1997 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology correlated the use of talcum powder in the genital region to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.