Talcum Powder’s Link to Ovarian Cancer

Talcum powder is a white, soft powder derived from talc, or magnesium silicate, a mineral composed mostly of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc became popular for its ability to absorb moisture after it is finely ground. For this reason, it became widely used in cosmetics, as well as for use in babies’ diapers and women’s personal hygiene products.

For many generations, talcum powder was used in nurseries to treat babies’ bottoms, grown men and women use it as body powders, foot powders, medicated powders, perfumed powders and deodorant powders. Talcum powder is also used in deodorant-style incontinence pads.

Cosmetic companies use talc in face powders, eye shadow and blush products, as well as others.

Health Care Experts Are Taking A Fresh Look at Research

Health care experts are taking a closer look since new research may link ovarian cancer and other serious conditions to this household staple

Talc can cause respiratory problems, more so in infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics and a majority of private pediatricians have discouraged its use.

As the talc particles become airborne, inhaling can cause wheezing, fast or labored breathing, coughing and in some cases, acute or chronic lung irritation, known as talcosis.

Inhalation of talc can also cause pneumonia and can trigger asthma symptoms. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), individuals with long-term exposure to talc, such as miners and millers, inhaling talc increases the chance of serious chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer.

Evidence first presented in the 1970s linking the application of talcum powder to female genitalia to serious health effects, including ovarian cancer. When applied to the female groin area of women, particles can travel through the vagina, into the uterus and along the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. From there, it can take many years to dissolve, which research has shown, can cause inflammation, since evidence of talc has been found in some ovarian tumors.

Recent Research Connects Talc to Ovarian Cancer

As we have posted on our blog previously, there is evidence  that links talc to ovarian cancer. The journal Cancer Prevention Research published a study in June 2013 showing that women who dusted their groin area with talcum powder were shown to have a 20-30 percent greater risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who did not use talc products for intimate personal hygiene.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for their baby powders and body powders.  There is a class action suit against J&J seeking to force them to properly inform consumers about the potential serious health risks of their talcum powder products.

Victims Have Already Started Filing Lawsuits

These plaintiffs claim they would never have used the products for feminine hygiene had they known that they could cause ovarian cancer.

In October 2013, a South Dakota jury found that J&J failed to adequately warn about the risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder products, in a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who used Shower-to-Shower talcum body powder for 30 years. In May 2014, an Illinois woman filed a lawsuit alleging that J&J failed to warn about the risks of using talc for feminine hygiene purposes and is seeking $350,000 in compensatory damages.

In April 2014, a talcum powder class action lawsuit was filed against J&J, alleging that the company failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential risk of ovarian cancer from Johnson’s Baby Powder. Plaintiffs in that case maintain that talcum body powder is not safe for use as a feminine hygiene product and that J&J has withheld information about the link to ovarian cancer for decades.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder products, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys for a free consultation.

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