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Talcum Powder Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

| Dec 28, 2018 | Product Liability

In the early 1980s, there have been a variety of studies which determined women who frequently used talc powder products for feminine hygiene experienced higher rates of ovarian cancer. As of today, approximately 12,000 women have filed lawsuits against talcum powder manufacturing leader Johnson & Johnson, claiming frequent use of well-known products such as Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder has led to ovarian cancer. The plaintiff’s main argument in most of these cases is that talc powder was contaminated by asbestos, which is a carcinogen considered harmful—whether it’s a significant or tiny amount. Additionally, Johnson & Johnson and other companies failed to provide adequate warnings about the potential link between talc and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

What is Talc?

Talc is a soft mineral found in underground clay and used in various products. When it comes to consumer products, talc is added to lipstick, blush, foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, and face powder. It is also found in food processing (e.g. pharmaceutical pills, supplements, chewing gum, etc.) and children’s toys. However, asbestos also comes from underground. Minor traces of it is typically evident in talc deposits, resulting in the possibility of cross-contamination.

Scientific Findings of Talc

The first known study was conducted by British researchers, who found traces of talc particles in 13 ovarian tumors under a microscope. In 1982, a study in the medical journal Cancer showed a statistical connection between the use of talc for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer. Furthermore, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned parents against the use of talc on babies and infants in 1981. In the 1990s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told manufacturers to stop using talc in surgical gloves and condoms due to health concerns. In 2010, the FDA performed tests on talc products and discovered no signs of asbestos, although they only tested raw talc from four suppliers and 24 commercial products. However, the FDA does not perform safety tests for cosmetic talc such as Johnson & Johnson’s products.

Link Between Talc & Ovarian Cancer

Evidence suggests that talc particles pass through the vagina and fallopian tubes and into the ovaries. Some have argued that the talc mineral itself is the source of their cancer, while many are recently claiming talc contaminated with asbestos is the culprit. For decades, Johnson & Johnson’s talc products have been marketed toward women. The company has the largest share of the talc powder market for nearly a century.

Johnson & Johnson’s Stance

The talc powder manufacturer denies that their products contain asbestos. They say claims linking talc and ovarian cancer are based on pseudoscience.

Do I Qualify for a Talc Lawsuit?

If you have been using talc products frequently for years and were recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Ohio, our Toledo personal injury lawyers at Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. can help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. We can evaluate your case, determine all your legal options, and guide you and your family through the legal process. For more information about talc powder products, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.