Possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer 'inconclusive': HSA

Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $101 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-containing products for years.
Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $101 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-containing products for years.PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - Despite concerns about a possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, evidence globally remains inconclusive in establishing such a link, for now, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

In a statement on Monday, the authority also said that there have been no adverse reports relating to talc in cosmetic products in Singapore.

Earlier this month, healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay US$72 million (S$101 million) to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-containing products for years. This included the company's popular Johnson's Baby Powder.

Talc is a mineral made up of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen, and is commonly found in cosmetics.

HSA said on Monday that it keeps tabs on products containing talc to make sure that they are safe. This includes testing samples of such products and monitoring adverse reactions suffered by people who use them.

The authority added that under Singapore's regulations, cosmetic products do not have to be approved by HSA. However, they must comply with certain legal requirements for labelling.

For example, talcum powder for children must be labelled with a warning to keep the powder away from a child's nose and mouth.