Many questions have been asked in recent years about the link between talc and ovarian cancer. Talcum powder is one of the main ingredients in baby powder. For many decades, talcum powder has been used as a feminine hygiene product.
The argument is that talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer when talc particles make contact with the genital area, then move through the vagina, onto the uterus, then the fallopian tubes, and finally to the ovary.
Sometimes, the talcum powder particles cause the ovaries to inflame. Plaintiffs in talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have argued that the resulting conditions promote the risk of cancer growth.
Talcum powder is manufactured from talc, a naturally occurring mineral mined from locations often adjacent to naturally occurring asbestos. This mineral, which manufacturers have put to generous use in products like insulation, has been established as carcinogenic.
But only in recent decades have people who were struck with cancer after years of exposure been successful in suing manufacturers of asbestos and products containing asbestos.
With talc and asbestos being mined in close proximity, there is a strong belief that the mined talc can be contaminated by asbestos. If so, the talc becomes carcinogenic and, therefore, dangerous to people who handle it and who use the products that contain the mineral talc.
Unfortunately, consumers have no idea whether the talcum powder they apply on their sanitary napkins, genital areas, their babies, and their skin contains asbestos because federal law does not mandate the testing of cosmetic products. They use these products unaware of the potential danger to which they expose themselves.
Talc has been used in powders and baby products for centuries, but concerns over health risks emerged in the late 1970s due to the discovery of asbestos in some talc-containing samples.
Studies suggested a link between perineal dusting with talc-containing powders and ovarian cancer. More recent studies are inconclusive, but concerns have also been raised about the presence of respirable quartz, a lung carcinogen found in some commercial body powder samples.
This has led to increased awareness and investigations into the association between talc use and cancer in humans.
The initial link noted between the development of ovarian cancer and the use of talc dates back nearly 60 years ago, when it was observed that asbestos-containing talcum powder caused significant changes in the ovaries when placed intraperitoneally in animals.
These findings were sufficiently strong to start an ongoing search for a similar association between the two today. This association has provided us with invaluable insight into the potential causes of cancer and how we can prevent it.
Much research remains to be done in the area of talcum powder and its causation of ovarian cancer. Still, enough data supports the relationship between talcum powder and ovarian cancer to prompt the American Cancer Society to caution consumers to avoid or reduce their use of these and other talc products.
In addition, the findings of such studies prompted the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a branch of the World Health Organization) to declare genital use of talcum powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
A Harvard study in 2013 concluded with the opinion that the use of genital talc powder connects to an elevated risk of some types of ovarian cancer and stated that consumers should consider not using the products to cut their risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Additional research has been conducted on the topic of the link between talc-based body powder and ovarian cancer. Some highlights include:
In recent years, lawsuits have been brought against Johnson & Johnson for their talcum powder products and the deaths of women from ovarian cancer from using them. In February 2016, a family won a lawsuit in which particles of talc were found in their relative’s ovaries after she had died at 62 years old of ovarian cancer.
However, just a few months later, the courts overturned this ruling on jurisdictional issues, not on scientific proof. Another woman was awarded $70 million in her claim against Johnson & Johnson for her ovarian cancer. This was the beginning of a tidal wave of legal claims concerning talc and its connection to certain types of cancer.
Currently, over 40,000 claims have been made against the talcum powder manufacturer, alleging a causal link between powder use and reproductive cancers. Multidistrict litigation is ongoing. If you believe your ovarian cancer diagnosis could be due to your frequent use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder products, a talcum powder cancer lawyer may be able to help you pursue compensation.
Cosmetic talcum powder, baby powder, and other talcum-based powders have been proven to contain amounts of asbestos. Asbestos is a known carcinogen.
If you regularly used talcum powder, such as Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may be eligible to receive compensation for losses related to your condition.
A talcum powder lawyer with Zanes Law may be able to assist individual women who have experienced ovarian tumors or ovarian cancer after frequent usage of talc-based powders like Shower to Shower or Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder. Contact us for a free case review and consultation.
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