Desperate Housewives actress Marcia Cross used Instagram to announce the passing of one of her longtime friends and issue a warning to other women.

“I lost my oldest friend Jackie (middle) to ovarian cancer today. Please keep up on doctors appts and please DO NOT USE BABY POWDER on your PRIVATES,” she wrote.

What Cross was likely alluding to is the growing concern that talcum powder used on the genitals for feminine hygiene may contribute to one of the deadliest cancers – ovarian cancer. For decades, Johnson & Johnson has advertised its Johnson’s Baby Powder as being safe enough for infants, and told women that “a sprinkle a day” of its Shower to Shower body powder “keeps the odors away.” But what the company never told consumers is that tests on its talc revealed that it contained a known carcinogen, asbestos.

In July, Johnson & Johnson was hit with a $4.69 billion verdict in a case brought by 22 women who claimed that its talc contained asbestos that contributed to their ovarian cancer diagnoses. The consumer health care giant is also facing claims that its allegedly asbestos-laced talcum powders caused mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Not only is talc mined from the earth in the same fashion as asbestos, it is also structurally similar in that it is made up of miniscule particles that when applied to the genitals can travel up the uterus through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. The talc becomes “an irritant that the body seeks to expel, causing cellular growth,” Michael Cackovic, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Women’s Health.

Source: Women’s Health

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