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Controversy of Talc Powder causing Ovary Cancer

Talcum powder has always been a controversial topic from 1960?s. Till today no such research or test has proved that talcum powder is the core ingredient which causes ovarian cancer. But often while doing survey people tend to remember the last thing used and thus it?s become a myth that Johnson and Johnson baby powder causes cancer.


Talcum powder is made out of talc which is a naturally occurring mineral mined from the earth, so is asbestos also known as carcinogen. They are found in the same place, so while mining talc it is often contaminated with asbestos. This contamination was always an issue from early 1960?s, but as per the Safety and Health Administration lists they are two different minerals. Talc is differentiated into two categories:

  • Talc with asbestos and
  • Talc without asbestos.

Recent Jury Case of J & J Talc causing Ovary Cancer

Recently a family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer won the case against Johnson and Johnson Talcum Powder and a compensation of USD 72 million was given at a jury in Missouri. The reason and the judgment was given on the basis that the women used this product for years and the treatment and damages cost a total of USD 62 million.

Reasons for Ovarian cancer


Often woman use the talcum powder in underwear?s or in the sanitary pads for sweat absorbing and also fat women use them in between their legs to minimize chafing.


When the talcum powder is used in the nether regions, it could work its way up the vagina, past the cervix through the uterus and along the fallopian tubes to the ovaries, this might cause cancer.

Though previous the FDA does not have to approve the product before coming into the market, but later the FDA took few products samples to check whether it contains asbestos. Periodically raised question regarding the danger of using talc let them to test the currently marketed cosmetics, including talc. Out of testing 34 products including eye shadows, blushes, foundations, talc and products of J & J, none of them had any trace of asbestos.

Many health centers like Northwell Health cancer institute, researchers and studies have mixed reports and there is higher risk for the reports being biased. No such sure and precise link or reports have been reported saying that the core ingredient causing ovarian cancer.

Though the J&J tried to justify that their products are global products and are carefully selected and meets the high quality, purity and compliance standards. The jury disagrees on the sound science and is just seeing the safety of using the talc as it is used in most of the cosmetics, and the family was given compensation for the loss.

Many such cases about 131 have been registered in Missouri and New Jersey. The gynecologists of ACOG do not recommend the use any kind of cosmetic or talc around the genital area and if you really want to use powder then opt for the cornstarch products as they are not linked to causing any problems.

Dr Menaka Bharathi
Dr Menaka Bharathi
Dr Menaka Bharathi aka Simple Indian Mom is an Agricultural Microbiologist and helps moms to keep their family and kids naturally healthy both mentally and physically.
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