For more than a century, Johnson baby powder and other talc products have been marketed as essential products for baby care and feminine hygiene. However, a growing number of studies are finding a link between baby powder use and cancer.
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Baby powder has been marketed as a safe and essential personal care product for decades. However, there is a growing body of research showing that inhaling the powder or using it near a woman's genitals can increase a person's risk of developing cancer.
Doctors and scientists have been concerned about a possible link between talc and cancer for more than 50 years.
There are several theories about how the use of loose powder might increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Some scientists believe that the powder travels to a woman's private parts and causes inflammation in cells that eventually develop into cancer.
Others believe women accidentally cleaned themselves with talc, which was contaminated with asbestos, a mineral known to cause cancer. They theorized that asbestos migrated upwards in women and damaged cells in such a way that they became cancerous.
Interestingly, animal research from the 1960s supports the asbestos theory. In a study published in the journal Environmental Research in 1967, researchers injected asbestos into guinea pigs. They reported changes in the animal's ovaries "similar to those seen in patients with early ovarian cancer".
Researchers have even found that asbestos-induced mesothelioma is similar to ovarian cancer at the cellular level.