1982: Daniel W. Cramer, MD., studied 256 cases from November 1978- September 1981. He had the theory Talcum powder amplifies the risk of Ovarian cancer and his data corroborated this theory. He found 215 women with epithelial cancers and 39 women with malignant tumors. Dr. Cramer concluded, when Talcum powder is applied to women genitalia, the risk of ovarian cancer doubled.
1992: Dr. Bernard Harlow, of the Harvard Medical School, published a study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. After interviewing 235 women, Dr. Harlow discovered there was a three-fold increase of ovarian cancer when Talcum Powder was dusted on every day. An increase in the incident rate of a cancer as exposure increases is known as dose-response, and is a sign of causation that baby powder causes cancer.
1982-1999: Levin Simes Abrams has gathered large studies from 1980-1998 (200 or more users). These studies consistently showed an increase in ovarian cancer among populations exposed to talcum powder. These studies show a 120% to 200% risk for ovarian cancer among talc users. See the table below:
1999: Dr. Cramer published a second report with many other co-authors. The report stated it’s plausible up to 10% of ovarian cancers are caused by Talc.
2013: The American Association for cancer research published a study that analyzed 8,525 cases and 9,859 controls of ovarian cancer where it was thought the Talcum powder increased the cancer. The study found frequent Talcum powder users have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. The women who never used Talcum powder had no increased risk.
Which Companies Failed to Warn About the Cancer Risks Associated With Talcum Powder?
Johnson and Johnson is not the only manufacturer of talcum and baby powder. NIVEA, Gold Band Body Powder, Avon, and Ponds all manufacture talcum or baby powder products. None of these manufacturers label their products with appropriate warnings about increased risk of ovarian cancer. Women can use talcum powder regularly for decades without knowing there is a risk. When talcum powder is applied to the perineal area, talc particles travel through the woman’s reproductive system and eventually reach the ovaries. When talc arrives at the ovaries, it causes cancer cells to thrive.
There is significant evidence, dating back to the 1990’s, Johnson and Johnson knew talcum powder was harmful. Over 20 epidemiological studies showing a correlation between talcum powder and ovarian cancer have been published. Throughout the 1990’s, researchers sent Johnson and Johnson letters stating talc can cause cancer cells in the ovaries. In 1994, Johnson and Johnson made the decision not to label talcum powder because they said there was not enough evidence. Yet by this time, multiple studies had been published showing consistent links between usage and ovarian cancer.