Talcum powder has long been a popular choice by women as a hygiene product. However, the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer dates back to the early 1970s. A 1971 study of ovarian cancer patients revealed talc particles in their ovarian tissues. Yet, this dangerous product has been kept on the shelves for more than four decades without any regulations, warnings or restrictions.
The Link between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Talc is a mineral made up of oxygen, silicon and magnesium. It’s used as a powder to absorb moisture, reduce friction and prevent rashes. But when it’s applied to a woman’s genital area, its particles can travel into the ovaries and stay there for years. As a result, there is inflammation that can lead to the generation of ovarian cancer cells. And there’s plenty of research to support this.
Published research in the medical journal Cancer Prevention Research revealed that women who use talc-based powder on a regular basis can increase their risk of ovarian cancer by over 40 percent. Studies in 1992 determined that the regular use of talc increased the risk of ovarian cancer by three times. A 1992 Johns Hopkins study revealed that using a sanitary napkin with talc increased ovarian cancer by 379 percent. A 2010 Harvard study states that the talc found in baby powder is carcinogenic to humans. In 2011, the National Cancer Institute conducted a study with 4,000 women and revealed a 200 to 300 percent increase in ovarian cancer with women using perineum talc.
Overall, there is strong evidence from approximately 24 epidemiological studies that suggest an association between talc and ovarian cancer. These studies found that talc increases a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by 30 percent. Based on all of this, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated talc as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Talc companies like Johnson & Johnson continue to deny any connection of talc to ovarian cancer.
Talcum Powder Risks and Specific Ovarian Cancers
Talcum powder seems so innocent. After all, talc, a naturally-mined mineral, is the main component in baby powder. It’s generally considered safe, with the exception of the genital-perineal area in women—especially after considering a piece of 2016 published research concerning links to ovarian cancer.
While there have been studies stretching back decades linking talcum powder and ovarian cancer, a study published in the May 2016 issue of Epidemiology showed that using talcum powder in the genital-perineal area could increase a woman’s odds of developing ovarian cancer by as much as 44 percent… read more
Judges and Juries: Position on the Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Connection
Fortunately, judges and juries are not in agreement with talc mining companies. The first baby powder cancer suit was won in 2013. The jury found that talcum contained in Johnson & Johnson powder contributed to the plaintiff’s ovarian cancer. The 56-year-old female plaintiff had used Shower-to-Shower powder and other Johnson & Johnson powders as part of her personal hygiene routine for over 30 years. In 2006, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The jury found that the company failed to warn consumers of the connection between talc and ovarian cancer and awarded the plaintiff’s family a $72 million verdict. During this trial, one expert testified that about 10,000 cases of cancer may be due to talc each year.
Another case marked the second hit for the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. A federal jury awarded an ovarian cancer patient $5 million in compensatory damages in addition to $50 million in punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for egregious actions. This award is likely due to the fact that the jury felt the company owes it to their customers to be honest about the potential hazards associated with its products. Just the simple addition to its labels warning consumers of its potential danger could save countless lives.
Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal both rulings. Even so, there are another 1,200 lawsuits alleging Johnson & Johnson failed to warn customers of the potential dangers associated with talc. Unlike other health-related products, talc is considered cosmetic and is not subject to review by the FDA. There is also a class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, but this lawsuit is only seeking to recover compensation for the cost of the powders for consumers who purchased the products.
Filing a Lawsuit
You may be able to file a lawsuit for compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and funeral expenses. Filing a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit is the only means for consumers to hold talcum powder producers responsible for the harm they have caused. Most states have talc powder lawsuit time limitations, but the majority of all persons having incurred ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder will fall within those time limits if they contact an attorney soon.
At the Louthian Law Firm, we will listen to your individual circumstances and analyze the merits of your case absolutely free of charge. We work on a contingency basis, and you will pay no fees until we recover compensation for your injuries. Call us at 803-454-1200 or use the convenient online inquiry form to get started. From the moment of first contact we’ll be listening hard and working harder to see that justice prevails.