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Johnson & Johnson to alter its baby powder worldwide

A Johnson's baby powder bottle Associated Press/Photo by Jeff Chiu, file

Johnson & Johnson to alter its baby powder worldwide

The company said Thursday it will replace talc with cornstarch in the baby powder it sells worldwide in 2023. Johnson & Johnson already removed talc from the products it sold in the United States and Canada in 2020 after thousands of lawsuits alleged that talc caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, a cancer that strikes the lungs and other organs. The company has paid more than $2 billion in settlements to women who had cancer. Johnson & Johnson said it still believes its talc products are safe.

Does talc really cause cancer? The American Cancer Society (ACS) says the connection between talc, or talcum powder, and cancer is tenuous. Studies on the issue, according to the ACS, have yielded mixed results, with some research saying there is a slightly increased risk of ovarian cancer for women as a result of talcum powder use, and some saying there is no increased risk. The ACS does acknowledge that ovarian cancer is uncommon, making it a complication in these studies.

Dig deeper: Read Joel Belz’s column from the WORLD archives about appreciating medical professionals.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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