Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

For decades, women have been using talcum powder to absorb moisture and as a deodorant, applied to their groin area, sanitary napkins, diaphragms and underwear to help keep them dry and free of vaginal odors. What many of these women don’t know, is that their trusted baby powder or body powder may actually increase their risk of ovarian cancer, if the powder particles are able to travel through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries. If this is true, which numerous studies have found to be the case, Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder may not be as safe as the company has led us to believe.

The first link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer complications was established in 1971, when British researchers found talc particles “deeply embedded” in ten of the 13 ovarian tumors they examined. In 1982, the medical journal Cancer published research indicating that, when used for a prolonged period of time, talc particles from body powder used for feminine hygiene can enter a woman’s upper genital tract, possibly resulting in ovarian cancer. Over the past three decades, several new studies have examined the potential connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, and found that the risk may be as high as 33%.

Over the past three decades, several new studies have examined the potential connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, and found that the risk may be as high as 33%.

Why Talcum Powder Lawsuits Are Being Filed

Talcum powder lawsuits brought against Johnson & Johnson allege:

  • The pharmaceutical company manufactured a defective product.
  • The company knew that talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer when applied to women’s genital area.
  • The company failed to adequately warn consumers and the medical community about this risk.
  • The company targeted women in its talcum powder advertising.
  • The company misrepresented the safety of its talc-based baby and body powders and downplayed its risks.
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What is Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral composed of the elements silicon, magnesium and oxygen, which, in powder form, absorbs moisture and helps cuts down on friction, making it a useful product for preventing rashes and keeping skin dry. Because of this, talc is widely used in a number of cosmetics and other consumer products, including Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder. In spite of its benefits though, talcum powder has been linked to a number of possible side effects, and recent research has found that women who apply talcum powder to their genital area for feminine hygiene purposes may face an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

How a Talcum Powder Lawsuit Can Help

Women and families who file a product liability lawsuit against J&J may pursue financial compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Long-term medical care
  • Permanent disability
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral costs
  • Wrongful death

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Information

Women who have used talc-based body powder for years for feminine hygiene purposes are now pursuing claims against Johnson & Johnson, alleging that the company knew about the potential for talcum powder to cause ovarian cancer, yet failed to provide adequate warnings about this risk to the public. The very first lawsuit brought against Johnson & Johnson for ovarian cancer complications allegedly caused by talcum powder was on behalf of Deane Berg, who turned down a $1.3 million out-of-court settlement from the pharmaceutical company in favor of bringing her case to trial in 2013.

In the years since Berg’s case, more than 1,000 women have filed complaints against Johnson & Johnson over ovarian cancer and other injuries allegedly caused by its talcum powder products, and some of these women have been awarded significant settlements, the most notable being a $72 million jury verdict awarded to the family of a 62-year-old Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer after using talc-based body powder.