Talc is a mineral that is mined from deposits around the world, including the U.S.
The softest of minerals, it’s crushed into a white powder.
It’s been widely used in cosmetics and other personal care products to absorb moisture since at least 1894, when Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder was launched.
But it’s mainly used in a variety of other products, including paint and plastics.
Much research has found no link or a weak one between ovarian cancer and using baby powder for feminine hygiene, and most major health groups have declared talc harmless.
Still, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies genital use of talc as ‘possibly carcinogenic.’
Attorneys with Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson, the firm that handled the St. Louis cases, cited other research that began connecting talcum powder to ovarian cancer in the 1970s.
They cite case studies showing that women who regularly use talc on their genital area face up to a 40 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
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