Health Canada, the national governmental agency responsible for public health in Canada, has issued a report finding that the use of talc for genital hygiene may expose women to a greater risk of ovarian cancer.
Health Canada is issuing an informational letter on the respiratory and cancer dangers of talc use to all health care professionals, recommending they advise patients not to use talc in the genital area. The advisory notes that loose talc can be found in a wide array of products, including baby powder and deodorants as well as cosmetics, natural health products and non-prescription drugs. Tolga Yalkin, Director General of Health Canada’s Consumer Product Safety Directorate, said that the government will consider a number of actions to further restrict talc use.
Canada’s governmental action is based on a thorough analysis of scientific studies linking talc exposure to ovarian cancer and respiratory conditions such as fibrosis. The report notes that the Canadian Cancer Society identifies genital talc use as a possible risk factor, supported by numerous published studies reporting a small but significant association between ovarian cancer and perineal talc use.
“It is encouraging that the Canadian government is taking the lead in notifying medical professionals about the potential dangers of talc use,” said Susanne Scovern, of SCOVERN LAW. “Every organization responsible for public health and education about cancer needs to carefully examine how to make doctors and consumers more aware of the science and symptoms surrounding ovarian cancer.”
Susanne Scovern is a member of the legal team for an upcoming trial representing over twenty women and their families who allege that use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products caused their ovarian cancer. That trial is scheduled to begin in April 2019, in state district court in St. Louis.
Additional information on the Health Canada announcement can be found at https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2018/68320a-eng.php.