Talcum Powder Increases Cancer Risk in Women
March 8, 2016
Talc is cancer causing, says most scientific researchers.
Following countless laboratory studies, the use of talc-based powder for feminine hygiene has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Women who regularly use talcum powder in the genital area have a 33 percent higher risk of contracting cancer.
The link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer was first discovered in 1971, yet many talc-based products are still on the market today.
Talc Use for Hygiene is Studied
Talc is a mineral made of magnesium, oxygen, and silicon. It is commonly used as a drying agent due to its moisture-absorbing properties. Naturally, talc can contain the carcinogen asbestos, though commercial talc products have been free of asbestos since the 1970s.
Recently, researchers studied the use of talc by women with and without ovarian cancer in order to identify an increased cancer risk associated with the mineral’s usage.
According to the study, women who regularly added talc to underwear, sanitary napkins, tampons, or directly to the groin area had an ovarian cancer risk that was 33 percent higher than women who did not.
Researchers stated that talc used in this manner can enter the vagina and upper genital tract.
Talc Use Linked to Ovarian Cancer
Approximately 14,500 American women succumb to ovarian cancer each year. Another 20,000 receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer annually.
Using talc for feminine hygiene was first linked to ovarian cancer in the early 1970s. It was classified as a possible carcinogen in 2006 by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Despite this classification, the Centers for Disease Control does not consider talc as an ovarian cancer risk factor. Attempts have been made in an effort to require manufacturers to add warnings on the labels of talc products, but these attempts have been unsuccessful.
Manufacturer to Pay Damages
In recent days, talcum powder manufacturer Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a jury to pay damages of $72 million, following the death of a 62-year-old woman who was a regular user of the company’s talc products for more than 35 years.
Although Johnson & Johnson currently faces 1,200 additional lawsuits, the company maintains that its talc products are safe.
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