The link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer has been the subject of dozens of scientific papers. The first study was published in 1971 in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the British Common Wealth. The results found that about seventy-five percent of ovarian tumors contained talc particles. The following year, the Journal of Obstetrics and Gyanecology reported that about half of 20 talcum powder products contained asbestos. The companies then began a campaign to debunk the findings, blocking publications that reported adverse findings.
The association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer is not complete, however. Although the researchers have not been able to establish a direct link, they believe that there is a relationship between talcum powder and ovarian adenocarcinoma. The study found that a woman who regularly uses talcum powder has an increased risk of developing a cancerous tumor. This may be because the talc particles travel through the fallopian tubes and into the ovaries. Once trapped inside, they cause inflammation and cancer cells to grow.
The association between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer has been controversial for over 40 years. The first study found that 75% of tumors containing talc had a risk of ovarian cancer. The Harvard study found that women who used talc powder products often had a 30% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson, the company that produces Shower-to-Shower body powder, claimed that the risk of ovarian cancer was too low to justify warnings and discontinue marketing the products.
Another study, published in Nature, found that a relationship between talcum powder and ovarian cancer was established. A significant amount of talc was present in the ovarian tumors of women who regularly used talcum powder. This finding was supported by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the National Cancer Institute’s World Health Organization. In July 2015, the NTP voted 13-2 to list talcum powder as a possible human carcinogen. Even though Johnson & Johnson refused to add a warning label to their products, the company pulled their tainted baby powder from the North American market.
The study involved over 4,000 women and found no consistent link between talc and ovarian cancer. The study was funded by the Cosmetics Alliance Canada and the Industrial Minerals Association-North America, and researchers were compensated by the companies that profit from talc use. The study was also underpowered to detect a small increase in risk from talcum powder. The study is an important step in understanding the link between talc and ovarian cancer, but further research needs to be done to make a definitive conclusion.
The studies conducted by the FDA show that women who use talcum powder on their genitals have twice the risk of ovarian cancer as those who don’t. The FDA, however, has not ruled out the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The study also found no connection between talcum powder and ovarian squamous cell carcinoma, but it does show that women who use the product on their genitals have tripled the risk of the disease.