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Talcum powder, which is used in various products including Johnson & Johnson® baby powder, has been shown to increase risk of ovarian cancer when used by women near reproductive organs. But what exactly is talcum powder, and what makes it dangerous?

Talcum powder is the crushed form of the mineral talc, which is made of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is best known for its ability to absorb moisture, odor, oils and serve as a lubricant. This is why talcum powder is so often used in products like baby powders, foot powders and other cosmetics.

Another form of talc is called soapstone, and this is a soft rock that is often used to make sculptures, bowls, countertops, sinks, hearths, ornaments and other objects. The rock can easily be carved and shaped into various forms, making it the perfect material for these types of everyday items.

Talc is also used in the following items:

  • Ceramics
  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Roofing materials
  • Plastics
  • Rubber
  • Insecticides
  • And more

Talcum Powder Health Risks

There are certain instances when talcum powder has been found to be dangerous for human health. Specifically, when baby powder, body powder or other deodorizing powders contain talc and are used near the female genitals, risk of ovarian cancer increases. One study found a 30 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer within a person’s lifetime with the perineal, or genital use of talcum powder.

Even though talcum powder has positive absorption abilities, it also has the ability to travel to the ovaries through the vagina and fallopian tubes. This can lead to inflammation and growth of ovarian cancer cells. Women should be aware of the products that may contain talc, especially the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products that do not contain warning labels. This includes Johnson’s® baby powder, Shower to Shower® absorbent body powder and all other face/body/deodorizing powders.

The talcum powder lawyers of Simmons Hanly Conroy are currently investigating claims that use of talcum powder has caused ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson may have failed to warn consumers of health risks associated with its products. If you or a loved one has used talcum powder and has since been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, contact us today for a free legal consultation.

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