Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Since 1971, ovarian cancer has been linked to talcum powder in more than twenty studies. Johnson & Johnson, the maker of talcum-based consumer powders such as Shower-to-Shower and Baby Powder, has faced numerous lawsuits from women who have developed ovarian cancer after using the powders for many years.

Johnson & Johnson was aware of the cancer risk since 1982 but did not warn women of the risks. It is estimated that more than 14,000 women in the United States will die from ovarian cancer this year.

The following companies market talcum powder: McKesson Baby Powder, Clubman Pinaud Talc, Shower to Shower, Johnson & Johnson, Nivea Pure Talc, and Gold Bond Medicated Powder. The attorneys at Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels can investigate to determine if these brands resulted in diagnosed fallopian tube or ovarian cancer.

The Composition of Talc

Talcum powder is comprised of the natural mineral, talc, which is formed from magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talc is used in many products for households and industries, including food additives, astringents, and lubricants. One of the reasons that talc is so popular is because it can be mined, milled, crushed, and dried for use in products that often absorb moisture and prevent friction.

Women are the most likely to purchase powder with talc due to its ability to prevent moisture, making the product useful for preventing chafing and diaper rashes. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of the powder for babies because the tiny particles within the powder enter the air when applied. Babies can inhale the product, causing coughing, unsteady breathing, wheezing, and even talcosis, a chronic irritation of the lung.

Workers who help mine and mill the talc for many years often suffer from pneumonia, asthma, and even lung cancer, and it has been proven that asbestos (cancer-causing chemicals) can be present within talc. In the 1970s, it was mandated that talcum powder should be free from asbestos, but for those who used the powder regularly, there is a higher risk of cancer.

The Dangers of Talc

Through the years, women have turned to the powder to stay cool and dry. However, it is possible for the tiny particles of the powder to end up in a woman’s uterus, traveling even to the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Because the talc in the powder does not dissolve easily, it can settle within the reproductive organs of a woman and eventually form tumors that could be cancerous.

While it has been suspected for years, in 2013, the Cancer Prevention Research Journal reported that women who used the powder regularly have a 20% – 30% higher risk of acquiring cancer in their ovaries than women who have not used the powder. Powder with talc has been described as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” per the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest cancers for women today. There have been several lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of the talc-based powders. A women in South Dakota won against Johnson & Johnson in a product liability lawsuit in which she had used Shower to Shower products for approximately thirty years. After being diagnosed in 2006 with ovarian cancer, the surgeons found particles of talc within the tissue that was removed. It was determined that the talc caused her cancer.

A California woman was awarded over $70 million in October 2016 by a jury in St. Louis in which a Johnson & Johnson product was allegedly responsible for her cancer. Two other lawsuits were also awarded in a St. Louis jury trial that had a combined award amount of $127 million.

Contact Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels Today

Since these verdicts, many more women have come forward to file lawsuits. Our attorneys review these cases and are ready to talk with you about a possible claim. Contact Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels at 740-374-5346 today to learn more or fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you to discuss your possible claim.