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Most domestic talcum powder brands safe, certifies FDA

Recently a St Louis (US) jury granted a compensation of $70 million to a 62-year old  Californian woman, who in her lawsuit claimed that her ovarian cancer was linked to the sustained used of Johnson’s Baby Powder.  The Indian Medical Association has since received several queries from people regarding the safety of domestic talc powder.

Earlier in the month, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one of the most visible and active FDA units in the country, has clarified and certified that most domestic talcum powder brands are asbestos-free and compliant with safety norms. The domestic talcum powder brands cleared by Maharashtra FDA includes Johnson’s Baby talc brand as well.

The IMA, through this statement, clarifies ​that India’s FDA parameters are stringent and most talcum powder brands available in the country including Johnson’s talc, are given permission to sell only when the state FDA has certified it as asbestos-free and compliant with safety norms.

IMA has also independently reviewed the literature regarding the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer with and without asbestos link.  The Nurses' Health Study by the Harvard School of Public Health published in 2009 that included more than 130,000 women and ran for more than 14 years, found no association between talc use for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer. Another long running study - Women's Health Initiative Observational Cohort study, by the U.S. National Institutes of Health published in 2014, studying 61576 talc users, showed no increased risk of ovarian cancer with talc, as well.