Environment and Climate Change Canada warned that talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer — four months after 22 women won $4.7 billion from a talc manufacturer in court.
A report by the government agency set out the concerns, including that some recent studies “have consistently reported a positive association with ovarian cancer and perineal [genital area] talc exposure.”
It cited 29 studies on the connection between ovarian cancer and baby powder, and said 21 of those found a “possible, or positive” relationship between the talc and the cancer.
The draft paper, which looked at baby, body, face and foot talc powders, also said that inhaling talcum powder can be dangerous and should be avoided as it can cause respiratory problems like fibrosis or scarring of the lungs.
Baby powder manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has faced several lawsuits over its talcum products, and has suffered financially.
The Canadian Cancer Society has said talc causes a “possible risk” to developing ovarian cancer.
Since 1999, the American Cancer Society has recommended that women who regularly use baby powder in their genital area choose cornstarch-based baby powder instead of talc.
The report did not say there was a definite cause and effect relationship between talc and ovarian cancer, but it did warn that talc may cause the cancer.