Researchers are unanimous that talc or talcum powder can cause lung, ovarian, stomach and endometrial (uterine) cancers. They said talc consisting of asbestos is generally accepted as being able to cause cancer if it is inhaled or/and used regularly in the genital area. Evidence on asbestos-free talc is however less clear.
“The health implication of using talc that contains asbestos is that it causes cancer. The real worry is that talc powder is the main ingredient in powders used for rashes in babies and adults in Nigeria,” said a consultant epidemiologist, Dr. Anthony Nwaoney.
He noted: “It has been suggested that talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary.”
The epidemiologist told The Guardian that concerns about a possible link between talcum powder and cancer have focused on: whether people who have long-term exposure to talc particles at work, such as talc miners, are at higher risk of lung cancer; and whether women who apply talcum powder regularly in the genital area have an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Read more