During the last forty years, scientists have studied the connection between using products containing talcum powder and certain cancers, such as ovarian cancer. Talcum powder is oftentimes applied to or used in the genital area in the form of baby or body powder or because it is present on sanitary napkins, condoms, or diaphragms. Because talcum or baby powder is most often used on infants between diaper changes, or for a woman’s personal hygiene, the powder has been found to travel inside the body via the vagina, irritating the genital tract, and settling inside the uterus, fallopian tubes, and the ovaries.
Some scientific studies have found that the use of talcum powder increases a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer by 20 to 30 percent. Even particles of this talcum powder have been discovered in the lymph nodes or tumors of those with ovarian cancer, which only bolsters the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
If you or a loved one is suffering from ovarian cancer or any illness as the result of using talcum powder, you may be entitled to compensation. Our experienced injury lawyers may be able to help you pursue a personal injury claim. Call us at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice.
In this article:
- Potential Fatal Link
- What Exactly is Talc or Talcum Powder?
- The Connection Between Talcum Powder and Cancer
- What Other Studies Show
- No Warning Labels
- Talcum Powder Injury Statistics
- Lawsuits Regarding Talcum Powder Injuries
- Victories for Victims
- Consult with an Experienced Talcum Powder Injury Attorney
Unfortunately, some of the manufacturers of talcum powder products have failed to warn customers of the potentially fatal link between the use of talcum powder on the genitals and ovarian cancer. If you or a loved one are battling ovarian cancer as the result of talcum powder products, be sure to consult with a seasoned and experienced Talcum Powder Injury Attorney as soon as possible. We are investigating cases that involve the possible link between the use of talcum powder products and ovarian cancer and we will work to help you or your family recover damages for your injuries.What Exactly is Talc or Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is made from talc which is a naturally occurring mineral made up of different elements including silicon, magnesium, and oxygen. Talc in its natural form can sometimes contain asbestos, which is a substance that is known to cause lung cancers when inhaled. Fortunately, those talcum powder products used in the home, at least in the United States, have been free of asbestos since the 1970s.
The talcum powder that is used in the home today is made from ground-up talc, and as a powder, it can absorb moisture and reduce friction, therefore it is helpful in the prevention of rashes and keeps skin dry. It is generally used in cosmetic products like baby powder and adult products such as facial and body powders. Some popular talcum powder products are Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ Shower to Shower.The Connection Between Talcum Powder Products and Cancer
As mentioned in the foregoing, the potential link between ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder is not a novel idea. In fact, the earliest scientific study that made a connection between ovarian cancer and talcum powder use was published in 1971. Those involved in the study found that women who developed ovarian cancer had fibers from talc in their ovaries. As a result of this study, scientists, doctors, and other medical professionals started to think there might be a significant connection between the use of talcum powder and an increased chance of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.What Other Studies Show
Additional studies over the years have revealed stronger connections between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. For example, in 1982, a study that was reported in Cancer, a journal published by the American Cancer Society, discovered that those who regularly use pads, or sanitary napkins that contained talcum powder were at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer than those women who do not use talcum powder products. In addition, in 2003, Anticancer Research published a study that found that women who use talcum powder weekly on their genitals are at an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Moreover, a 2008 study linked the frequency or regularity of the use of products containing talcum powder with the risk of developing ovarian cancer. The study found that those women who use talcum powder daily have a forty-one percent greater risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer than those who do not use talcum powder.No Warning Labels
Although these studies reveal alarming data, the products that contain talcum powder is still largely unregulated. In fact, manufacturers of talcum powder products, such as Johnson & Johnson, are not required to put warning labels on their talcum powder products because according to a law that has been on the books since the 1930s, the United States Food and Drug Administration does not have authority over cosmetics. Because the FDA does not have the power to regulate these cancer-causing products, they, unfortunately, have yet to recall the dangerous products.
Until then, some doctors and medical professionals are urging consumers to play it safe when it comes to using talcum powder products. Importantly, doctors are saying that talcum powder should never be used in or near the genitals given the science revealing a possible link between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer.Talcum Powder Injury Statistics
Statistics reveal that of the twenty thousand women in the United States that are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, more than two thousand of those ovarian cancer diagnoses may be related to regular use of talcum powder products. In other words, it is believed that in approximately ten percent of those diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the cancer was caused by the use of talcum powder.
While ovarian cancer is not necessarily one of the most common cancers among women, it is one of the deadliest, particularly because it is hard to detect, and oftentimes, it is too late for successful treatment once it is detected. A woman has a one in 75 chance of developing ovarian cancer in her lifetime. However, some studies have revealed that long-term and consistent use of talcum powder on the genitals may increase those odds to approximately one in fifty-three.Lawsuits Regarding Talcum Powder Injuries
There are more than 1,200 women in the United States who are suing talcum powder manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson for their failure to warn consumers that there may be a link between ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder products. In two of these lawsuits, juries have found Johnson & Johnson liable for damages and the company has been ordered to pay millions of dollars in monetary damages.
On May 1, 2016, a jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay 55 million dollars to a woman living in South Dakota who is an ovarian cancer survivor. In February, a jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for the death of a woman who died last October as a result of ovarian cancer. The woman had used Johnson’s Baby Powder daily, as well as the talcum powder product, Shower to Shower. The jury awarded her family with $72 million, to be paid by Johnson & Johnson for its failure to inform and warn its consumers of the possible risks of using its feminine hygiene products containing talcum powder. The jury found it telling that Johnson & Johnson’s talc suppliers put warnings on the talc they provided to Johnson & Johnson, yet Johnson & Johnson failed to place warning labels on their own products. Moreover, internal memorandums that circulated at Johnson & Johnson indicated that the company was and is aware of the health risks associated with talc, and it has known for more than twenty to thirty years.Victories for Victims
These significant jury verdicts are considered victories for women and their families who believe that their ovarian cancer was the result of using products containing talcum powder. While about 1,200 lawsuits are pending against manufacturers of talcum powder products, as incidences of ovarian cancer that are found to be related to the use of talcum powder increase, it is likely that more women and their families will seek the compensation they deserve for the manufacturers’ failure to warn them that the use of an everyday cosmetic product was the cause of their illness and/or death.
In the video below, Dr. Marc Siegel with Fox News discusses how a jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay 22 women a total of $4.7 billion in a talcum powder lawsuit.Consult with an Experienced Talcum Powder Injury Attorney
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you have used talcum powder products, be sure to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Personal Injury Lawyer as soon as possible in order to preserve your rights under the law. A seasoned and qualified attorney who can handle the complexities of your case, particularly when dealing with pharmaceutical companies, can help you obtain the results you deserve for injuries you should not have had to suffer in the first place. Successful jury verdicts reveal that it is possible to obtain significant monetary damages if you are suffering from ovarian cancer that you believe is related to the use of talcum powder.Sacramento Drug Products Liability Lawyer
I'm Ed Smith, a Sacramento Drug Products Liability Lawyer. If you or a family member is suffering from ovarian cancer, or other illness as the result of using talcum powder products, please call me today for free, friendly advice.
Photo by: "Johnson's Baby Powder, Talc" by JeepersMedia is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.19.20]