Used on babies and by adults, talcum powder has been an available consumer product found in many households for years. Once considered a harmless product, talcum powder has been linked to increased ovarian cancer risks since the 1970s.
What Is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is made from a mineral called talc, which includes oxygen, silicone, and magnesium. In a powder form, talc can be used to reduce moisture and help decrease skin friction. However, when first produced, talc contained asbestos, which has now been prohibited in consumer products. Asbestos is a substance that’s been linked to lung cancer.
Risks Associated With Talcum Powder
There are a few serious health risks associated with the use of talcum powder, including:
- Talcosis, an irritation of the lungs
- Respiratory problems in babies
- Asthma and pneumonia symptoms (which may lead to other respiratory diseases and even lung cancer)
- Ovarian cancer
The Link Between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
One serious risk associated with talcum powder is ovarian cancer. Women who have used talcum powder around their vaginal area have a 20 to 30 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who have not used talc-based products for personal hygiene purposes.
When talc is used in the vaginal area, particles from the powder can travel through to the ovaries, taking years to dissolve and often causing inflammation. Medical research reports that talcum powders are associated with ovarian cancer particularly when used long-term, and doctors have found talc particles inside cancerous ovarian tissue.
More Cases Against Johnson & Johnson
Following two multi-million dollar jury verdicts against Johnson & Johnson, the corporation now faces over 1,000 new lawsuits claiming its talcum powder causes ovarian cancer. Recently, J&J was found liable for knowing about the potential link between its products and ovarian cancer and failing to warn the public. Jackie Fox filed suit in Missouri and was awarded $72 million; however, she died before the trail ended. Gloria Ristesund filed a similar lawsuit and was awarded $55 million in May 2016. While some companies switched from using talc in their products to cornstarch, J&J did not, and there are attorneys who want J&J to pull its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products from store shelves.
Attorney Ted Meadows said, “In talking to these women—and as a believer in the civil justice system in this country—[filing lawsuits] is a way to get the powerful in this country to do what they should. For Johnson & Johnson, it is decades in the making. They should have been warning about the risk of ovarian cancer from genital talc use as early as the 1982 time frame.” Meadows also added that his experts found that “10 percent of all ovarian cancer diagnoses each year are directly attributable to genital use of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
J&J responded in a May 2, 2016 blog post stating, “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which identifies potential risk factors for many diseases, has not identified talc as a risk factor for ovarian cancer.” The company also said that expert panels and some government agencies reviewed study data and failed to conclude that talc caused cancer. J&J announced it will appeal both verdicts.
Did Talcum Powder Cause Your Ovarian Cancer?
If you believe your ovarian cancer diagnosis is linked to your use of talcum powder, you can seek legal action against companies like Johnson & Johnson. At the Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm, we know how challenging it can be to pursue legal help while you’re already suffering, and we’re here to make every step of the process as pain-free as possible. Visit our website today to set up a free consultation, or call us to discuss your case. We’ll do everything we can to seek justice for you.