Risks Associated with Talcum Powder

A meta-analysis of several studies indicates that baby powder could increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer by as much as 24%.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital located in Boston decided to look at 8 of the many studies investigating the carcinogenic qualities of talcum powder to prove once and for all if there is indeed a link between powder use and cancer. After decades of being used by millions as a way to keep fresh, having been assured that is “clinically proven” to be safe, gentle, and mild, it appears that it isn’t so safe after all.

Pooled data of powder use for 8,525 women with ovarian cancer was compared to 9,859 cancer-free women and the results showed that women who made it a habit to put talc on “feminine” parts of the body after a shower or bath had a 24% higher chance of developing ovarian cancer. According to the talcum powder lawsuit lawyers at Williams Kherkher, ovarian cancer is one of the more common forms of cancer in women, accounting for 5% of cancer deaths, and the symptoms only manifest when the disease is in the advanced stages, making it a serious health issue. The meta-analysis was published in the Cancer Prevention Research journal (“Genital Powder Use and Risk of Ovarian Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of 8,525 Cases and 9,859 Controls” Cancer Prev Res August 2013 6; 811).

It is believed that talc particles applied in the genital area travel up the reproductive tract into the body where it triggers inflammation, which can encourage existing cancer cells to multiply. About 40% of women are believed to use talcum powder in intimate areas of the body as part of their personal hygiene regimen. The carcinogenic effect of talc in this meta-analysis only applies when applied to the genital area. Risk factors include a family history of cancer, early menstruation, and specific genetic expressions (glutathione S-transferase M1 without glutathione S-transferase T1).