The cosmetic use of talcum powder started in the early 20th century. That was when Johnson & Johnson started to market its Baby Powder to women and young children. From that time, J&J further developed the Baby Powder brand by appealing mostly to American mothers with print advertisements. Today, J&J’s revenue from selling talcum powder products is estimated to be at least $300 million per year.
Even though the cancer lawsuits surrounding talcum powder are new, there are clinical studies going back to the early 1980s suggesting that women using talcum powder around the genitals were more likely to get ovarian cancer. Still, J&J continued to market talcum powder for various health and beauty products and continues to this day.