Talcum powders, including Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, have been marketed by Johnson & Johnson as a woman’s personal hygiene product for decades. However, since 1971 over 20 studies have linked talcum powder to ovarian cancer. In 2003, an analysis of 16 of the studies found that women using talcum powder near their genital region by sprinkling them on undergarments, sanitary pads, diaphragms and condoms were at a 33 percent higher risk to develop ovarian cancer. It has been alleged that the maker of popular talc-based powders were aware of the ovarian cancer risk since at least 1982, but have failed to warn individuals using these products.
Talcum based products cause cancer by being applied to the genital region. The talc particles then travel through the reproductive system to the ovaries and remain there for many years. The foreign body causes inflammation and creates an environment favorable to the growth of cancer cells. One expert estimates that nearly 10,000 woman develop ovarian cancer every year as a result of using talcum based powders.
Despite numerous studies and increasing evidence of serious health effects from talcum powder use, major manufacturers, such as Johnson & Johnson, still fail to inform consumers of the potential risks of developing ovarian cancer while using talc based powders.