Can use of Talcum Powder give me Cancer?


Over the last few years, many cases have come to the limelight regarding how the use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder has triggered cancer amongst many women. Many of the victims have won their respective cases and also claimed huge compensations from Johnson & Johnson.

But that does not actually prove the point, that talcum powder actually causes cancer. Still there are several researches going on regarding the possibility of talcum powder being one of the main causes of cancer.

How Can Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

Talcum powder contains talc. It is a kind of mineral which is made from magnesium, oxygen and silicon. Talcum powder is known to absorb moisture. It is used for reducing the friction and helps in maintain the dryness of the skin.

However, it is true that some talc contains asbestos. Asbestos is a cancer creating element and specially affects the lungs of the users. However, it is true that all the talcum powders, marketed in the United States, are free from asbestos from the 1970s.

The most amounts of concerns are surrounding the women who use talcum powder to keep their vagina dry. Sometimes small talc particles get stuck inside your organ and causes further complications.

Does Johnson & Johnson Powder cause Cancer?

Whilst talking about talcum powder causing cancer, we must first differentiate between regular talcum powder and asbestos-free talcum powder. Talc which has asbestos is generally more prone to cause cancer. However, separate lab tests have revealed that Johnson & Johnson in United States do not contain the risk of cancer.


On the other hand, however, the use of talcum powder, as a habit of keeping the genitals dry, can trigger chances of many sorts of cancer among women.

talcum powder

Results of Lab Studies on Animals:

The studies in the lab show that animals exposed to talc are more susceptible to formation of tumor. The talcum powders with asbestos has cancer causing ability and the tests reveal that these elements, found in talcum powder can actually effect human cells as well.

There are various forms of cancer that might happen due to the exposure of the talc in the vaginal area of a woman. The following are the few possibilities:

Ovarian Cancer

The tests suggest that some sort of talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer. The chances of cancer remain when the powder is applied on the vaginal area directly, or sprayed on the sanitary napkins or diaphragms.

The powder particles travel to the fallopian tubes and genitals and directly to the ovaries. Many studies, concerning women, have failed to find any link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder. However, there are still many studies which have identified the increased risk of cancer, with the use of talcum powder.


Though the test results are not convincing but there are several cases and incidents where women from different parts of Australia and United States had come forwarded with medical complications pertaining to the formation of the cancerous cells, due to the prolonged use of talcum powder in their vaginal area.

Lung Cancer

Researches based on mine workers in the talc mines have showed instances of increased risk of lung cancer. There are many studies which have found out increased risk of respiratory diseases and cancer amongst mine workers. However, in such cases the raw talc is not equivalent to the purified consumer products which we use for our regular usage.

The studies have found out that there are minimum or zero chances of women to be exposed to the threat of lung cancer from talcum powder.

Other Cancers

There are some studies which suggest that talcum powder slightly increases the chances of uterine cancer. This risk increases, especially for women, who have crossed their menopause. There are also a limited number of studies which have determined a connection between stomach cancer and talcum powder.

Further Research

Many cancer research studies suggest that the material found in talcum powder is susceptible to cause cancer in women. However, limited number of data fails to make any sort of valid claim.

Evidence is Inconclusive

Taking a holistic view it can be said that the evidence supporting the claim that talcum powder or Johnson & Johnson powder, causing cancer is inconclusive. None of the studies has effectively established talcum powder as the source of cancer in women. However, there had been suggestions that link the powders as one of the identified cause of cancer.


The extensive use of talcum powder, in order to keep the vaginal area dry, might expose the risk of cancer amongst many women. However, since the evidences are inconclusive, it is difficult to draw any concrete conclusion.