Talcum powder’s link to causing ovarian cancer has been established for decades. Despite this, talcum powder continues to be sold without a warning label. Given that cornstarch is a safe, but relatively unknown, alternative, corporate interests seem to have taken priority over public safety. In fact, talcum powder lawsuits are now being filed against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) alleging that the manufacturer failed to warn consumers about the risk of talc powder causing cancer. As the main supplier of talc powder products, J&J continues to sell its harmful products for women and children alike without warning them of their cancer risk.
Some J&J talcum powder products to be aware of include:
- Johnson’s® baby powder
- Shower to Shower® absorbent body powder
- Face powder
- Body powder
- Deodorizing powder
Though study results have varied, the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer is backed by several studies. Talc particles were found in ovarian tumors as early the 1970s, sparking research into the substance that is now known to be a definite risk. Even then, talc powder product manufacturers denied allegations and products were still advertised as a safe way to freshen up.
A 1992 study confirmed suspicions with the finding that genital use of talc powder increases a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by 33 percent. When used on the genitals to increase ‘freshness’, as it is advertised to do, the powder particles can travel into the body and cause ovarian inflammation. Ovarian inflammation then leads to ovarian cancer, the fifth cause of cancer deaths among women.
Since this formative finding, countless other studies and requests for justice have been met with silence by talcum powder product manufacturers. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declined to address this public safety concern, citing it does not have the authority to regulate cosmetic products.