The cancer risk stems from talc, a silicate mineral that is used to create talcum powder, and how women use body powders. Talc is often found in the earth alongside asbestos, a similar crystalline silicate, which is known to be a carcinogen. Although it is believed that talc products have been free of asbestos since the 1970s, talc’s chemical makeup and crystalline structure are similar to asbestos. Multiple studies over 40 years suggest that talc is also a carcinogen. When women use talcum powder as an absorbent and smoother in undergarments or on sanitary napkins or condoms, talc particles can make their way through the vagina to their ovaries. Once ingested, these silicate minerals have been known to irritate tissue, which can cause the chronic inflammation that may lead to the formation of cancerous tumors. Clinical studies cancerous ovarian tumors have found traces of talc in these tumors.