Fears, and arguments, about the possibility of talcum powders causing ovarian cancer have increased following a jury’s recent award of $147 million damage to a 63-year-old cancer patient.

A Los Angeles jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the amount to Eva Echeverria after she blamed Johnson’s Baby Powder for her cancer. Echeverria revealed she had been using Baby Powder since age 11 and the talcum it contained possibly contributed to her developing cancer.

Talc contains asbestos, known to raise Cancer risks

This development has renewed interests on the possible roles of Talcum Powder in causing ovarian cancer. Talc is the main component of talcum powders, and talc is largely made up of silicon, magnesium, oxygen, and hydrogen among other minerals.

Talc is used mainly in facial and baby powders and cosmetics because of its ability to absorb skin moisture and prevent skin rash.

Talc is known to contain asbestos in its natural form, and asbestos is known to cause lung cancer when inhaled. Since most women apply talcum powder on condoms, diaphragms, sanitary napkins and in their genital areas to absorb moisture, medical experts believe it can travel via the vagina into the uterus and fallopian tubes to raise risks of cancer in the ovaries.

There is no central agreement over the roles of Talc in causing Cancers

Cancer and medical experts have differed strongly on the possibility of talc in talcum powders causing ovarian cancer; some medical experts say the chances are strong and others say there is not enough evidence to suggest that this is the case.

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The American Cancer Society believes talc may have a slight role in raising the risks of ovarian cancer. But Amanda Fader, a gynecologist oncologist at Johns Hopkins University disagrees, stating that there is no scientific body of evidence to support any associations between talcum powder and talcum powder.

The National Cancer Institute avers with Fader, stating the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer is yet to be proven beyond reasonable doubts.

Reputable pediatricians, however, warn mothers against applying talcum powders on their babies since inhaling talc can induce respiratory problems – which could lead to lung cancer – in children. More research, however, is ongoing to establish credible links between talcum powders and ovarian or lung cancer.

Are you aware of the associations between talcum powder and risks of cancers? Let us know in the comments below.