In the past, many women used talcum powder on and around their genitals, including applying it to their thighs, undergarments, and sanitary pads. This prevents chafing, and keeps the area dry and fresh. There has not been definitive proof on how talcum powder causes ovarian cancer, but the link is — at least anecdotally — undeniable.
While research has not proven this method of causing cancer, some believe these particles can travel from the thighs, perineum, or undergarments, into the vagina, and up the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. Along the way, it can become embedded in the cervix and other structures.
What Is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is a talc-based powder often used in baby powder, body powders, cosmetics, and other similar products. Designed to use for various purposes, many companies produce and market talcum powders. One of the most well-known manufacturers is Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Johnson’s baby powder.
Talc is a rock that contains several minerals and elements, including silicon, oxygen, and magnesium. Miners excavate the rocks, and manufacturers grind them into a powder before combining them with fragrances and other ingredients. Then, they package the product and sell it to consumers.
Many products that previously contained talc now have talc-free formulas, including most body powders marketed to women. But this change comes too late for some women who spent years using talc-based powders. A significant number now suffer from ovarian cancer, and more will likely face a similar diagnosis in the future.
How Do Researchers Believe Talcum Powder Causes Ovarian Cancer?
Researchers have tried to determine how talcum powder causes ovarian cancer since a study published in BJOG in 1971 found a link between talc-based powders and cancer.
In that study, the researchers extracted tissue from cancer patients who used talcum powders and found talc particles embedded in both ovarian and cervical tumors. Some powders at the time might have contained impurities, including asbestos, a common ingredient in household products at that time. However, there has been no asbestos in these commercial products since the 1970s.
Studies have failed to identify the exact mechanism that causes cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, it is difficult to study how large of an increased risk of cancer there may be with long-term talcum powder use.
This is because most of these studies must rely on the participants’ memory of if and when they used these products — use that could date back several decades. Some of the women who have developed (or will later develop) ovarian cancer because of these powders may have not used these products since the 1980s, and therefore may not recall how long they used them, or if they used them at all. This could severely affect the outcome of the research.
What Is the Basis of These Talcum Powder Lawsuits?
While research may not yet prove exactly how talcum powder causes ovarian cancer, the women, and the families of those who lost their lives to ovarian cancer, claim the companies were aware of the potential cancer risk associated with using their products for feminine hygiene purposes.
In fact, they allege the manufacturers knew about the link to ovarian cancer for decades before it became common knowledge to the public. They never issued a warning to women about using these products during that time, which the women believe might have prevented them from developing cancer. Because of the missing warning, the women allege these talc-based powders are defective products.
How Can I Discuss My Case with a Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit Lawyer?
If you developed ovarian cancer, or a loved one died from the disease, and regularly used a talcum powder product at any point in your life, there may be a link between the two. The attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can evaluate your situation and determine if you are eligible to file for compensation. If so, we can guide you through the process of filing your claim, and fight for the full payout you deserve.
Call our office at 631-600-0000 today to schedule a complimentary consultation so we can discuss your potential claim. Our baby powder litigation lawyers are ready for your call. Our initial consultations are always free, and we handle these claims on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call today to discuss how we can help you hold a manufacturer liable for your ovarian cancer.