on air now

Cancer professor says link between talcum powder and cancer is ‘very weak’

The cancer risks of talcum powder use are in the spotlight.

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay a whopping $100m to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to talcum powder.

But a Cambridge University professor has told Neil Mitchell the link is ‘very weak’.

‘Overall, I think there is a link,’ Prof Paul Pharaoh said on Thursday.

‘But the association is a very weak one.

‘The studies that have shown that link are far from perfect.

‘The risk that’s associated with using talcum powder in the genital area is, at best, very slightly increased.’

Prof Pharaoh said regular use of talcum powder in the genital area would only increase the risk of ovarian cancer from 18 to 21 in 1000.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson insisted their talc meets the highest compliance standards.

‘The recent jury outcome goes against decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient,’ they said.

Click play to hear the full story