THE OFFICES OF THE CANCER PREVENTION COALITION
PRESS RELEASE – August 5, 2002
DUSTING WITH CANCER: COALITION URGES CHICAGO DRUG STORES TO
Dusting with Talc Increases the Risk of Ovarian Cancer, warns Professor of
Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health
According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition, the regular use of talc
increases the risk of ovarian cancer. The Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC)
will announce its plans for a talcum powder labeling initiative in Chicago
on November 17, 1994 at a press briefing.
Speakers at the press briefing will include CPC Chair Dr. Samuel Epstein,
CPC Board members Dr. Quentin Young and Dr. Peter Orris, and an ovarian
cancer survivor. The speakers will explain why a labeling initiative is
important to residents of Chicago, and will also answer questions from the
Recently, CPC sent letters to the Chicago corporate offices of Osco and
Walgreen drug stores urging that they provide customers with information on
the dangers associated with the use of talc. Additionally, CPC is filing a
petition with the FDA requesting that talc products be explicitly labeled.
The use of talc poses a serious risk of ovarian cancer. Estimates are that
up to 17% of American women regularly use talc in the genital area. Women
have been compelled through advertisements of the cosmetic industry, to dust
themselves to mask odors. Talcum powder has historically been a symbol of
freshness, cleanliness and purity. Talc is even more commonly used on
Ovarian cancer is a silent killer. It causes 38 deaths daily among American
women--totalling 14,000 deaths annually. It is the fourth highest women's
cancer death rate in the U.S. Over 60% of ovarian cancer victims die within
five years of diagnosis.
"Studies seem to indicate that talc poses an increased risk factor for
ovarian cancer, thus I would support a warning label to alert women to this
possible risk," stated Diane Farrell, a Chicago resident who has been
fighting ovarian cancer for the last two years.
According to Dr. Samuel Epstein, of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, "A wide
range of scientific studies over the last three decades have clearly linked
regular talc use by women and ovarian cancer."
The talc labeling project is the first phase of a "Consumer Labeling
Initiative" that will inform citizens of the presence of undisclosed
carcinogenic ingredients and contaminants in cosmetics, other consumer
products, and food and how to avoid them.