Talc is a clay mineral, which in its powdered form, is widely used in baby powder, as well as adult body powder, and cosmetics. It is the softest material known to man, which makes it useful in cosmetic applications. Asbestos can be found in talc deposits, leading to a risk of cross contamination.1

Increased Chance of Developing Ovarian Cancer with Genital Talc Use

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded an “unusually consistent” increased chance of developing ovarian cancer among women who reported they has used talcum powder in the genital area.

National Center for Health Research, Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

“A new study published in the journal Epidemiology, analyzed the use of talcum powder in over 4,000 women with and without ovarian cancer. The authors found that use of talcum powder in the genital region may increase a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer by 33%, especially in instances where the powder was used daily”
- Women's Health Research Institute. Northwestern University

Mesothelioma Associated with the Use of Cosmetic Talc

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine included case studies of 33 people with mesothelioma. Their only exposure to asbestos was through the use of asbestos-contaminated talcum powder.

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Reuters: FDA Bowed to Industry for Decades as Alarms Were Sounded Over Talc

Reuters Investigates reported that since the 1970s, the FDA downplayed health concerns over talc in powders and cosmetics, deferring to manufacturers for testing. A previous Reuters investigation of Johnson & Johnson’s internal documents showed the company knew its baby powder products were sometimes tainted with asbestos but did not share this information with the FDA or the public.

Reuters Investigates