Talc is a naturally-occurring mineral that has been used by commercial and industrial manufacturers for decades. Johnson & Johnson released its iconic Johnson’s Baby Powder in 1893 after learning it could prevent diaper rash. Companies also began marketing talcum powder products to women for its ability to absorb moisture and control odor in the genital area. Talc powder became a staple product in households across America and has been used by thousands of women for many years.
Despite its popularity, talcum powder carries some dangerous side effects and studies have linked long-term talc use to ovarian cancer and other diseases due to contamination of asbestos, a known carcinogen.
While further studies are needed, some medical experts have advised consumers to stop using products that contain talcum powder because of the potential cancer risk. The serious health concerns have led to thousands of lawsuits against talcum powder manufacturers and Johnson & Johnson has now ended talc-based baby powder sales in North America.