When it comes to women’s health, it’s always important to stay alert and in the know about any possible factors which could affect a woman’s health or body. For many years, women have been using talcum powder on their own bodies, as well as on their babies; however, it has become abundantly clear in the last few decades that talcum powder has negative side effects for the human body, some even potentially fatal.
According to The New York Times, many women use talc as a “feminine hygiene product, applying it to their bodies and breathing in airborne powder.” Talc also appears in makeup, laundry soap, deodorant, and arts and crafts materials. Talc is a mineral that is composed of different elements including, chromium, nickel and other substances that are known to be harmful or worse, carcinogenic. Talc is found underground and is often intermingled with asbestos, a dangerous substance known to cause cancer. Since talc and asbestos can be found so close together, asbestos can be found in talc naturally. Reuters reported that asbestos contamination is an issue that companies like Johnson and Johnson have known about for decades, and when they started losing market share amongst their core buyers they turned their attention to minority groups.
Women who have typically used baby powder as part of their feminine hygiene routine may have talc particles in their ovarian tissues. As Dr. Judy Wolf, a gynecological oncologist states: “The inflammation alone that talcum powder products cause can lead to cancer—specifically ovarian cancer.” Talc particles can actually remain in the body for years, even long after talcum powder use is discontinued. The talc particles can cause inflammation in the ovaries that allows cancer cells to form, grow and spread. Talcum powder has been banned from condoms and medical gloves, and pediatricians no longer encourage parents to use baby powder made with talc on infants due to adverse health effects. However, women are still using talcum powder as part of their feminine hygiene routine – in fact 1 in 5 women routinely use talcum powder products like baby powder for feminine hygiene purposes.
Talc appears in many popular brands of baby powder, such as Johnson and Johnson’s, Clubman Pinaud Talc, Nivea Pure Talc, Gold Bond Medicated Powder, McKesson Baby Powder, and Shower to Shower. However, many women do not realize the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. More than 25 published epidemiologic studies have examined the link between genital talc use by women and ovarian cancer since the 1980s; according to the scientific research in these studies, it has become apparent that women who regularly use talcum powder products like baby powder in their genital area are three times more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who do not use the product. Interestingly enough, even research funded by Johnson & Johnson concluded that talcum powder use for feminine hygiene increases a woman’s chance of developing cancer. Incidentally, ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of death for women and 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer yearly in America.
As women learn more about the connection between talc and ovarian cancer, the Truth About Talc is hoping to educate more and more women. As of this moment, manufacturers of talcum powder products are finally beginning to take note of the scientific studies and litigation documenting the link between talcum powder and an increased risk of ovarian cancer. In fact, as recently as this year, a U.S. House subcommittee held an investigative hearing on the science and safety of talc-based products, prompted by the FDA’s discovery of asbestos-containing talcum powder in certain cosmetics marketed to children and teens. The panel may recommend granting the FDA more authority to mandate safety recalls of cosmetics, powders and personal care products. Knowledge is power, and we’re grateful to be able to spread the mission of Truth About Talc and educate women not only for their health, but their children’s as well.
However, FDA regulatory changes that can protect us can take years, if not decades. That’s why we’d like to ask you to take less than a minute to sign this online petition. We urge you to #TosstheTalc and share this information with every woman you know.
Thank you to Truth About Talc for making this sponsored post possible – we are so appreciative!