Johnson & Johnson, maker of the most popular brands of baby powder, faced more than 14,000 talcum powder cancer lawsuit, some claiming to do with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, and some claim to do with an increased risk of mesothelioma, as evidence of powder contaminated with asbestos.
Regarding the latter issue, the company voluntarily issued a recall of baby powder in October 2019 after the US Food and Drug Association announced that some powder samples showed evidence of carcinogenic asbestos in the talc-based powder.
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Further testing after the recall showed this not to be the case. The presence of asbestos that may be because the sample is not accurate, and the recall revoked.
The issue of talc-based powder put women at increased risk of ovarian cancer is also the focus of many lawsuits, although the evidence of powder acting as a potential cause of ovarian cancer has not been determined.
A study published in the January 2020 gathered data from four large study populations, with a total of more than 250,000 women for decades.
Information about the use of powder in the genital area was collected. The difference in rates of ovarian cancer among those who never used the powder and the women, who have used talcum powder, is very small.
But some studies concluded that there is a significant association between the use of talc in the genital area and the possibility of developing ovarian cancer.