Talcum powder can be a known ovarian cancer risk.  Talcum powder is widely used in consumer products, including baby powder, adult facial and body powders, and other cosmetic products.  It is useful because it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, helping to keep skin dry and to prevent rashes.

Over the last several years, unfortunately, researchers have uncovered an increasing ovarian cancer risk among female users who apply talcum powder regularly in the genital area.

When considering ovarian cancer risk, it is important to distinguish between talc that contains asbestos and talc that is asbestos-free. Talc that has asbestos is generally accepted as being able to cause cancer if it is inhaled.  Consumers talc products containing asbestos have been banned since in the United States since the 1970’s, although some pending lawsuits contend that these products led to cancer years after being used by consumers.

The scientific evidence about the relationship between asbestos-free talc, which is still widely used, and ovarian cancer risk, is less clear.  Many studies in women have considered the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer risk.  Some of these studies have found a small increase of ovarian cancer risk, while others have found no increase.  There is continuing scientific research in this area.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has found, in human studies, that the regular use of talc-based body powder in the genital area can lead to an increased ovarian cancer risk.

In the United States, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson, alleging ovarian cancer caused by its talcum powder products.  Late last year, the federal court cases were consolidated in the District of New Jersey.  Some of the cases are currently being prepared and set for trial.

Clark Perdue continues to investigate and pursue ovarian cancer risk cases on behalf of women who have regularly used asbestos-free talcum powder products.