Talcum powder, a product used by Americans since the 1890s, is a potentially cancer-causing substance. As of late 2021, about 40,000 lawsuits were pending against companies involved in making and selling talcum powder, mostly involving Johnson & Johnson. The problem is so big, and the liability potentially so great, that the company is trying to use bankruptcy law to limit its exposure.
Most of those suing are women who had ovarian cancer, currently have it, or are the next of kin of women who died of it. Talcum powder is made with the mineral talc. The talc mines often have asbestos deposits. The talcum powder is hazardous when asbestos fibers are mixed with it. Asbestos can cause ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, an aggressive and fatal cancer.