Talcum powder is hygiene product that is frequently used by women, children, and even men in a variety of products. What most don’t realize is that talcum powder is also a known carcinogen that has now been shown to cause ovarian cancer in women and is being linked to mesothelioma. Despite this knowledge, the talcum powder products makers have continued to produce and market these products to consumers.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma and used talcum powder products, our experienced talc litigation attorneys can help. The knowledgeable and aggressive personal injury attorneys at Bailey Javins & Carter LC will put our considerable resources to work on your case.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Talcum powder products have been used by women for decades for a variety of purposes. Women sprinkle the powder on their undergarments or sanitary pads to repel moisture and odor. Also, some condoms and diaphragms have been treated with talcum powder, which exposes a woman’s reproductive tract to the substance.
Now we know that using talcum powder in this manner puts a woman at an increased risk for cancer. Since 1971, more than 20 studies have linked the use of talc powder products to ovarian cancer. The most prevalent was a Harvard University study led by Dr. Margaret A. Gates and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.
The study examined the cases of more than 3,000 women, with 46% having ovarian cancer. The study concluded that daily use of talcum powder increases the odds of getting ovarian cancer by 40%. Just using talcum powder once a week can increase your odds of an ovarian cancer diagnosis by as much as 36%. Prior studies showed that cancer cells, when exposed to talcum powder, tend to both spread faster and multiply more quickly than normal.
Dr. Daniel Cramer, a Harvard epidemiologist, reports that as many as 10,000 women annually are diagnosed with ovarian cancer that is linked to talcum powder exposure. This is a serious disease that will result in more than 14,000 deaths annually in the United States.
One of the most disturbing facts about the talcum powder issue isn’t new. There is evidence to show that Johnson & Johnson, the maker of popular talcum powder products like Shower-to-Shower and Baby Powder, has known about this danger since 1982 and failed to warn consumers.
Despite the studies and the science, talcum powder products remain on the market as the companies are supposed to self-regulate for this class of product.
The Connection Between Talcum Powder and Cancer
Researchers have been studying the effects of talcum powder for decades. When first developed over a century ago (1892), Johnson & Johnson understandably didn’t have the modern resources to undertake an exhaustive study. However, as early as 1971 a medical journal called The Lancet called into question the safety of the powder and cited its potential link to ovarian cancer. In the study, ovarian tumors were examined, and it was discovered that a majority contained talc particles.
A 1982 study added credence to these claims, where an assessment of over 200 females determined that those who used talcum powder products on their genital area on a regular basis had a 92% greater chance of getting ovarian cancer.
Scientists have determined that talc is harmful to the body because it doesn’t break down over time. Talc is a natural substance, but that doesn’t make it safe for internal use. Talc is a mineral that is composed of silicon, magnesium, and oxygen. It is mined, crushed, milled, and dried for the use in consumer products.
Talc has been used as a food additive, astringent, and for its famous powder products. Baby powder was (and still is) considered a revolutionary product that absorbs moisture, prevents rash, and eliminates friction. While initially used in baby diapers, the product has been widely marketed as a women’s genital hygiene product. When talc enters the genitals and reaches the ovaries, ovarian cancer cells could begin to grow.
Talcum Powder and Mesothelioma
The largest talc litigation cases right now deal with ovarian cancer, but there is a new type of claim emerging. These claims allege that talc products were contaminated with asbestos.
In 2010, there were reports that talc being imported from both China and South Korea contained asbestos. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did testing on the most popular talcum products on the market at the time and found no conclusive evidence of asbestos contamination.
Despite these test results, cases are coming forward, and plaintiffs are arguing that those tests simply weren’t sensitive enough. If the asbestos litigation has taught us anything, it’s that there is really no safe level of this dangerous substance.
Talc used in cosmetic products could be linked to the deadly lung disease, mesothelioma, because of the asbestos content. There have been several cases and favorable rulings linking talc to mesothelioma. The first was in 2013 with a $2 million verdict for a New Jersey woman, and the most recent in a 2016 jury award of $13 million.
Brands of Talcum Powder
The following are major companies that market talcum powder products. Our legal team can investigate these companies on your behalf to determine whether any of these brands contributed to a diagnosis of ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.
• Johnson & Johnson
• Shower to Shower
• Gold Bond
• Clubman Pinaud Talc
• Nivea Pure Talc
• McKesson Baby Powder
Previous Talcum Powder Litigation
In February 2016, a talc lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson ended in a $72 million jury award. In May 2016, a second jury awarded $55 million in favor a talc case plaintiff.
These are just two recent verdicts in talc litigation that is ramping up nationwide. These verdicts do not guarantee success in future cases. They do, however, illustrate the reaction of the courts and jurors to the evidence presented in these tragic cases.
How Do I Know if My Disease is Caused by Talc?
Few physicians are going to tell you that you have ovarian cancer or another disease that is caused by talcum powder. Instead, they will do everything in their power to help you recover from your illness.
When you have cancer or any other condition, various tests and tissue samples are taken as a matter of course. The results of these tests can be used to show whether there is a presence of talc in your tissue.
A review of your medical records by one of our talc medical experts can help us determine the strength of your case. The presence of talc fibers will remain in the body for years. Any individual who has used talc products on a regular basis is more likely to have the presence of these fibers and could be at risk for illness.
Why You Need to Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, now is the time to speak with an experienced talc litigation attorney at Bailey Javins & Carter LC. We are currently accepting talc powder cases and will speak to you about the pursuit of financial restitution for your harms and losses. Contact BJC now to schedule a free initial consultation about your talc powder case.