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Talc Powder – Ovarian Cancer

Talc Powder Overian Cancer Lawsuit Information

Talcum powder is a soft, white powder developed from talc, or magnesium silicate, a mineral composed primarily of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. When it is finely ground, talc absorbs moisture and helps reduce friction. For decades, baby powder with talc has been used to treat baby diaper rash by mothers and childcare providers.

Body powders and feminine hygiene products with talc as an ingredient marketed heavily through the years for the prevention of vaginal odor in women and are commonly used for that purpose. Products include Johnson & Johnson’s Shower-to-Shower and baby powder.

Skin-care product developers also put the silky substance in face powders (both loose and pressed), powdered eye shadow and blush products. It can also be found in foot powders, deodorant powders, medicated powders, sanitary & incontinence pads, and others.

Talc Powder Risks

When applied to the groin area of women, particles travel through the vagina and into the uterus and along the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. From there, it can take years to dissolve, and research shows that it can cause inflammation and the potential formation of cancerous tumors.

Since 1971, more than 20 studies have linked application of talc powder to female genitalia with ovarian cancer. In 2003, an analysis of 16 of these studies found that women using talcum powder were 33 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

Talc is considered a “possible human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization, based on a variety of studies. To date, both the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society consider talc use near the genitals as a “risk factor” for ovarian cancer. Despite this possible link, Johnson & Johnson and other talc powder manufacturers have not placed warnings about this risk on their products.

In addition to ovarian cancer, breathing in air-born talc powder can cause respiratory issues in infants, acute or chronic lung irritation (talcosis), pneumonia and can trigger asthma symptoms. For individuals with long-term exposure to talc, like miners and millers, inhaling it increases the incidence of serious chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer.

Talc Powder lawsuit

A number of lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of talc ­based baby powders and body powders. Plaintiffs in the litigation allege that Johnson & Johnson has known about the risk of ovarian cancer since with use of these products since 1982, yet failed to warn its consumers of that danger.

Talc powder lawsuits have been filed in California, Illinois, South Dakota, and Mississippi, among others.  In one of the most notable cases, a jury found in 2013 that Johnson & Johnson should have warned women about the risk of developing ovarian cancer when using its talcum and baby powders near the genitals. In that case, the plaintiff alleged that she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products for nearly 30 years. Talc was found in cancerous tissue removed from her body, and doctors determined these talc particles were the cause of her cancer.

In May 2016, a jury in St. Louis, Missouri awarded $55 million to a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder for nearly 40 years. Just three months earlier, another jury in St. Louis, Missouri awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using baby powder for decades as a feminine hygiene product.

Despite the mounting evidence of serious health affects with genital use of talcum powder, major manufacturers of talcum powder products do not warn consumers of the potential dangers.

Contact Us

If you believe you or a loved one contracted ovarian cancer after using talc powder, please contact us. You may be eligible for a talc powder lawsuit.