For more than four decades, medical experts questioned the connection between talcum powder and reproductive system cancer. Study after study laid these fears to rest and “proved” that talcum powder was completely safe, leading many women to use it daily between their legs.
This year, a jury awarded the family of a Missouri woman, Jackie Fox, $72 million in a civil suit claiming Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder caused Fox’s fatal ovarian cancer. Today, more women are coming forward to obtain compensation for their injuries, claiming Johnson & Johnson failed to warn the public of the inherent dangers of talcum powder.
Manufacturers create talcum powder using talc, a mineral made up of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talc is an absorbent powder that keeps skin dry and free from moisture, making it popular for use as baby powder, facial powder, and adult body powder. Some talc contains asbestos—a known carcinogen. Since the 1970s, home and body products with talcum powder have been asbestos-free. Now, however, possible evidence linking talc to ovarian cancer has rekindled the question of its safety.
Talcum powder applied to the genitals or used with sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms may make its way through a woman’s reproductive system to the ovaries. Studies regarding talcum powder’s propensity to cause cancer have resulted in different conclusions. Some studies report a slight risk increase when women apply talcum powder to their genitals, while others report no risk increase.
However, doctors have found talc particles embedded in the tissues of ovarian tumors. At the very least, talcum powder particles can set off inflammation—a reaction believed to catalyze the development of ovarian cancer. It’s difficult to prove talcum powder’s connection with ovarian cancer, since many other factors may be the cause of the cancer. However, as research continues to show a link between talc and cancer, many believe powder manufactures should add a warning label to talcum products.
Currently, many women are filing class actions against Johnson & Johnson in regard to talcum powder causing ovarian cancer. Claims against the company include:
In 1994 and again in 2008, the Cancer Prevention Coalition petitioned the Food and Drug Administration for talc warning labels. The organization stated there wasn’t conclusive evidence establishing that talc caused cancer and denied both petitions. Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier added warning labels in 2006, yet the company itself refused to do so.
Based on the evidence at hand, many women suffering from ovarian cancer have a strong case against Johnson & Johnson for negligence. Plaintiffs claim that Johnson & Johnson purposely concealed important information about the safety of talcum powder for more than 40 years, deciding not to warn the public about the risks despite the potential link between talc and ovarian cancer.
If you’ve developed ovarian cancer and believe talcum powder is to blame, you’re not alone. Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP, has helped hundreds of defective product victims around Boston obtain compensation for their injuries. Our firm has the skill and resources to file a mass tort litigation against Johnson & Johnson for its failure to warn consumers properly about known product risks.
We’ve won more than $30 million in compensation for our clients. As new cases against talcum powder and its manufacturers form, we can review your case for free during a one-on-one consultation and help you file a claim. If you or someone you love has developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, contact us today at (617) 391-9001 to discuss your case with an experienced professional.