Talcum powder – often referred to as baby powder – is processed from a soft mineral and is commonly used to freshen the feminine genital area. Advertisements by Johnson & Johnson and other talc powder makers has persuaded women for decades that they need powder products such as this to help with odors, moisture, or friction. Because these products are easily available at stores like Walgreens, women have been using them regularly for many years of their lives.
Talcum powder is a powderized form of talc, magnesium silicate which is mined from naturally occurring deposits in certain areas of the U.S. and around the world. It is often found near asbestos deposits and the earliest talcum powder products may have contained asbestos.
Once a link between asbestos and cancer was clearly established, manufacturers began refining their talcum powder products to ensure that they were “asbestos-free”.
Talc itself, though, is known to be irritating and has contributed to respiratory problems like asthma and other lung conditions. It may also contribute to the development of ovarian cancer when used in the perianal or genital region.
Talcum-Powder was the primary ingredient in a number of body care products including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder. Talcum powder was an essential ingredient, chosen for its absorbent properties to dry up moisture, reduce odor and soothe skin. Due to increasing pressure, most manufacturers have replaced the talc in their products with other absorbent powders such as cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Some products that have Talcum powder:
Each case is unique and must be evaluated individually but women or family members of those who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder may be eligible for compensation. Seek advice from a member of The Law Firm of Stephen Mitchell today!
In past medical injury lawsuits, plaintiffs have received compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain, and suffering and in some cases, punitive damages. Family members may be eligible for wrongful death compensation if the victim has died. The best way to find out if you have a claim is to contact us and speak to a member of our team today!
The first study linking the use of talcum powder to ovarian cancer was conducted in 1971 when researchers found that 75% of the ovarian cancer tumors contained talc particles. A decade later, a Harvard University researcher found a 30% increase in ovarian cancer in women who used talcum powder products frequently. A 1997 internal memo shows that Johnson & Johnson, a manufacturer of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder, knew of the potential risk but believed the risk was too low to justify warnings or discontinue marketing their products.
The first talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was won against Johnson & Johnson in federal court in 2013. One of the leading experts in talcum-related cancer research, Dr. Daniel Cramer, testified on behalf of the plaintiff and suggested talc has been the cause of a number of ovarian cancers throughout the years.
“During the course of the trial, a Johnson & Johnson attorney admitted the company was aware of the link between talcum powder and cancer but viewed the risk as insignificant and neglected to warn consumers of the potential danger on the product’s label. At the same time, the company was increasing marketing activities of their products, particularly in the African-American and Hispanic demographics.”
Since 2013, a number of lawsuits have resulted in large jury awards against Johnson & Johnson. Notable cases include:
Talcum powder cancer lawsuits are just the most recent in a long list of product liability lawsuits brought against Johnson & Johnson.
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Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against talcum powder manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson, by women or families of those who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using body care products containing talcum powder. Thus far, juries have awarded nearly $5 billion to plaintiffs but about 9,000 lawsuits have yet to be decided and many more may be expected.