How Talcum Powder Became a Danger for Women

Posted by JTB Law Group, LLC on Monday, September 19th, 2016


Studies conducted for over four decades have showed a clear enough connection between the development of ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder for intimate personal hygiene. Major corporations may deny the link, but that does not change the fact that around 30% of the women who apply talcum powder on their private parts on a regular basis suffer from an elevated risk of developing ovarian cancer, a potentially fatal condition. About 90 out of 100 ovarian tumours are epithelial. Epithelial ovarian is indicative of a cancer starting in the surface covering the ovary. This is highly susceptible to talc invasion.

Why Don’t Women Stop Using Talc?

The apparent easy solution to this problem is to stop the use of the product altogether. However, years of successful marketing have compelled women to view talcum powder as an essential product for keeping their private parts clean and healthy. Moreover, the producers are not willing to take talcum powder off the shelf as most of them are not willing to acknowledge its link to cancer.  Further documents suggest a marketing strategy to heavily influence African American and Hispanic women to use baby powder in this manner.  In order to change the mindset of the consumers, people need to first understand how the product became such an important part of their personal care routine. This is the best way to figure out whether other safer products can be used as an alternative to talcum powder, especially when it comes to maintaining intimate personal hygiene.

The Transformation from a Rock to a Powder

As the name clearly suggests, talcum powder is made from the mineral called talc. Talc is constituted by elements such as magnesium and silicon. The mineral is mined in rock form before undergoing several stages of processing. The rocks are crushed, dried and milled to form a fine powder. According to the manufacturers of the product, this fine powder is capable of absorbing moisture and creating a soft and slippery layer on the surface of the skin that helps to reduce friction.

The Appealing Properties of Talcum Powder

The producers of talcum powder market the product as one with easy-touch properties. This makes it an attractive item to the multi-billion dollar personal care industry. The powder is used as the key ingredient in a variety of personal care products that are aimed to prevent skin irritation, chafing and body odours. Common examples of such products include baby powder, foot powder, body powder and essential intimate hygiene products.

Women Are the Target Market

Initially, talcum powder was marketed as a household product for every member of the family. As the years passed by, the focus of the marketers shifted to women. Instead of advertising the product as one that should be applied on different parts of the body such as the limbs, the chest and the back, manufacturers began to evolve their product lines and promote talcum powder as the perfect product for keeping the vagina cool, comfortable, dry and free of odor. In simple terms, the product grabbed the attention of female customers and soon became a must have item in their shopping list.

How Female Consumers View the Product Today

Even though the research regarding the talcum ovarian link has been going on for decades and the evidence is out there for people to analyze, most female consumers are unaware of the danger of using talcum powder on their private parts. They have grown accustomed to dusting their private parts, underwear and sanitary napkins with talcum powder. Unfortunately, talcum powder today has become very closely associated with vaginal freshness and cleanliness in the minds of millions of Americans. Social awareness coupled with regulations on talcum powder is needed to help women avoid the danger of ovarian cancer.

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