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Talcum Powder

Brand Names: Baby Powder, Shower-to-Shower

Studies link use of talc powders with increased prevalence of ovarian cancer

Manufacturer knew about the increased risk but failed to warn women of the danger.

Talcum powder is a naturally occurring mineral used in many consumer products, such as baby powder. It is chemically similar to asbestos, a known human carcinogen, and has been promoted for decades by companies representing that it helps keep unpleasant odors away when using it for feminine hygiene.


Scientific literature and studies indicate a link between the use of talc powders, particularly in the genital region, and the increased prevalence of ovarian cancer. In 2003, an analysis of 16 prior studies found a 33% increased risk of ovarian cancer with perineal talc use. In 2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified perineal use of talc as a possible carcinogen. In 2010, a study analyzing 66,028 women with 599 cases of invasive endometrial adenocarcinoma diagnosed between 1982 and 2004, found a positive association between perineal talcum powder use and endometrial cancer, particularly among postmenopausal women. In 2011, a study reviewing two decades of observational studies suggested an association between use of talc powders on the female perineum and an increased risk of ovarian cancer. A subset of these reports showed a roughly 30-60% increased risk of ovarian cancer associated with perineal talc exposure.

It has been alleged that Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, knew about the increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, but failed to warn women of the danger. In 2013, a federal jury found that Johnson & Johnson should have warned consumers about the link between ovarian cancer and use of its baby powder. In 2016, $75 million in damages were awarded against Johnson & Johnson for allegations that talcum powder caused the plaintiff to develop ovarian cancer.

The development of ovarian cancer from talc use occurs because talc particles can travel into the genital tract to the ovaries where the particles remain for many years, causing inflammation and creating an environment that allows cancer cells to flourish.

If you or someone you know has used talcum powder around the perineum, or genital area, and has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may have a talcum powder claim. Please contact us.

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