Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral that In its natural form sometimes contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled
When talking about whether or not talcum powder is linked to cancer, it is important to distinguish between talc that contains asbestos and talc that is asbestos-free. Talc that has asbestos is generally accepted as being able to cause cancer if it is inhaled. The evidence about asbestos-free talc is less clear.
One study suggested genital talcum powder use may slightly increase the risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer in women who are past menopause. But other studies have not found such a link. Further studies are needed to explore this topic.
There is very little evidence at this time that any other forms of cancer are linked with consumer use of talcum powder.
The most recent recommendation from the American Cancer Society is as follows: “Until more information is available, people concerned about using talcum powder may want to avoid or limit their use of consumer products that contain it.”