Differing scientific opinions
The defense has cited Welsh studies that date back to 1971 linking talc to cancer; findings included “particles of talc imbedded in ovarian and cervical tumors.” According to the American Cancer Society, “In the past, talcum powder was sometimes contaminated with asbestos, a known cancer-causing mineral. This might explain the association with ovarian cancer in some studies.”
While an April National Cancer Institute report states “evidence does not support a connection between perineal talc exposure and a greater risk of ovarian cancer,” The Cancer Institute also says, “it’s not clear” if talcum powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer. It further states that “Numerous studies have linked genital talc use to ovarian cancer but the findings have not been consistent. Scientists hypothesize that talc crystals may move up the genitourinary tract into the peritoneal cavity where the ovaries are, set off an inflammation believed to play a part in the development of ovarian cancer.” According to The American Cancer Society, Ovarian cancer ranks 5th in cancer deaths among women.