Does talcum powder cause ovarian cancer?

Cosmetic Talcum Powder

Cosmetic talcum powder has been implicated in causing ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, and other types of cancer. While the jury is still out on whether or not talcum powder causes cancer, the potential risk is enough to scare many people away from using it. Are you one of them?

Cosmetic Talcum Powder and the Risk of Cancer

Cosmetic talcum powder may contain asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. Asbestosis is a serious lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has found that Exposure to low levels of asbestos over long periods of time can cause cancer in humans. A study on talcum powder and ovarian cancer published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives analyzed data from 41 epidemiological studies and found a statistically significant association between exposure to cosmetic talc and ovarian cancer. In the study, the level of exposure that was deemed as “associated with increased risk” was less than 1 mg/kg/day.

There are several reasons why cosmetic talcum powder may contain asbestos. Talc is often used in cosmetics because it is inexpensive, easy to transport, and doesn’t require a lot of processing. Asbestos is also commonly used in municipal building materials, including roof tile and insulation. In some cases, asbestos may end up being included in talcum powders as a result of manufacturing processes or mislabeling.

The use of cosmetic talcum powder has been linked with an increased risk for ovarian cancer, but it’s not clear if there is a causal relationship between these two factors. There currently isn’t any type of regulation requiring manufacturers to disclose the presence of asbestos in cosmetic products, so it’s possible that many people are still exposed to this dreadful carcinogen without even knowing it.

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What is talcum powder?

Talcum powder is an ingredient in many over-the-counter cosmetics. It’s mostly made from talc, which is a powder made of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Some people believe that the use of talcum powder (even in small amounts) may be linked to cancer. 

Studies suggest a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. A study published in The Lancet looked at the health records of more than 50,000 women who had developed ovarian cancer and epidemiological data on their use of talcum powders and other reproductive health products. The researchers found that ovarian cancer was three times more likely in women who used talcum powder regularly before the age of 18 years. Another study conducted by the charity Ovarian Cancer Action Netherlands found that almost half of cases (48%) among women with ovarian cancer were attributable to using talcum powders regularly before the diagnosis. 

Even though these studies have provided convincing evidence linking talcum powder use to an increased risk for ovarian cancer, it’s still unclear whether this link actually causes the disease or just makes it more likely to happen. More research is needed to understand the relationship between cosmetic talcum powder use and ovarian cancer development for sure.

How is talcum powder harmful?

Talcum powder, sometimes called cosmetic talcum powder, is a common ingredient in lotions and creams. Manufacturers add it to these products to make them feel softer and smoother on the skin. However, many people are concerned that talcum powder may be harmful because it can contain asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral that can cause cancer if it is breathed in or ingested.

Some of the studies appear to show a modest increase in ovarian cancer risk in women who used talcum powder on their genitals. If you used any of these talcum-based powder products for feminine hygiene purposes and developed ovarian cancer, you may qualify to file a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit and recover damages.

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Can talcum powder cause cancer?

There is some debate over whether cosmetic talcum powder can cause cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not found any evidence that cosmetic talc causes cancer in people, but a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2012 found there was an increased risk for lung cancer among women who frequently used talcum powder products. A 2017 review of studies on talcum powder and cancer also found an association between cosmetic talc use and either ovarian, uterine, or bronchial cancer. However, this link has not been validated by other research. Additionally, while no amount of cosmetic talcum powder is known to be safe or dangerous, many health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend reducing exposure to all chemicals that could potentially cause cancer.


Cosmetic talcum powder lawsuits are undeniably controversial topics. Some believe that the ingredient,talc, which is found in most talcum powders causes cancer. Talcum powder has been used for over a century to reduce friction and skin irritations, but despite this widespread use, little scientific evidence exists to support a link between talcum powder and health risks like cancer. If you are concerned about cosmetic talcum powder lawsuits and their potential risk to your health, speak with an attorney who can advise you on your legal rights.

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