The NTP has not fully reviewed talc (with or without asbestos) as a possible carcinogen. (For more information on the classification systems used by these agencies, see Known and Probable Human Carcinogens.) It is not clear if consumer products containing talcum powder increase cancer risk. The association between talc use and ovarian cancer: a retrospective case control study in two US states.
This type of talc is not used in modern consumer products.
The evidence about asbestos-free talc, which is still widely used, is less clear. Mortality from lung cancer and respiratory disease among pottery workers exposed to silica and talc.
Researchers use 2 main types of studies to try to figure out if a substance or exposure causes cancer.
For any individual woman, if there is an increased risk, the overall increase is likely to very be small.
Still, talc is widely used in many products, so it is important to determine if the increased risk is real. Some studies of talc miners and millers have suggested an increased risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases, while others have found no increase in lung cancer risk.