Talcum powder is widely used in cosmetic products like facial powders and baby powders as it absorbs moisture and keeps the skin dry and free of sweat.
Talcum powder is made from the mineral 'talc' which is a mixture of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Naturally, some forms of talc contain asbestos, which is a proven carcinogen, therefore from 1970's asbestos-free talcum powder is being used commercially.
‘Applying talcum powder to the genital area might cause ovarian cancer, by getting in through the uterus. But still the risk of cosmetic talcum powder triggering ovarian cancer is minimal.’
Even though talc is asbestos free, there have been researches linking its role in lung cancer and ovarian cancer. People working in talc mines have reported evidence of lung cancer development due to talc exposure.
Also, continuous application of talcum powder in the genital areas has been speculated to increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Cancer experts believe that talc can reach the ovaries by traveling through the uterus and cause inflammation in the ovaries, triggering ovarian cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classifies talc as "possibly carcinogenic to humans." However, no studies have been reported linking cosmetic talcum powder with cancer.