Conventional wisdom regarding talc powder is that it's marketed as
baby powder so it must be safe. However, recent lawsuits have alleged
that long-term genital talc use is linked with ovarian cancer. The link
between talc powder and ovarian cancer dates back to the 1970s when researchers
discovered talc particles embedded in ovarian and cervical tumors. In
2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World
Health Organization, classified talcum powder, when used around female
genitalia, as a possible human carcinogen. Notwithstanding such classification
and warnings from talc suppliers, Johnson & Johnson has not added
a warning label to its baby powder indicating that chronic application
of talcum powder to female genital areas can potentially lead to ovarian cancer.
What is talcum powder? Talcum powder is made from talc. Talc is a clay,
metamorphic mineral containing the flowing elements: magnesium, silicon,
and oxygen. Talc is effective at absorbing moisture and, as such, is effective
at keeping skin dry and preventing rashes. Talc and
Asbestos, a well-known human carcinogen, have similar chemical make-ups and deposits
of Talc and
Asbestos can be found in close proximity of one another. According to the American
Cancer Society, talcum products used in American homes have been free of
asbestos since the 1970s. Over the decades, many women have been exposed to talcum
powder and talc-containing products by direct talcum powder application,
or more indirectly, by exposure to products sprinkled with talcum powder
such as diaphragms or condoms.
While some studies have suggested that there may be an increased risk for
lung cancer in individuals engaged in talc mining or milling, studies
have not demonstrated a risk of lung cancer from exposure to talcum powder.
While research regarding talcum powder exposure and cancer continues,
it appears that for now, ovarian cancer and, possibly cervical cancer,
have a greater likelihood of being connected to chronic talcum powder
use than other cancers.
Talcum powder litigation is an emerging area of law. In February 2016,
a Missouri jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died
from ovarian cancer. The lawsuit alleged Johnson & Johnson disregarded
a possible link between its talcum powder and cancer. The jury found that
Johnson & Johnson was liable for failure to warn, negligence, and
conspiracy. In May 2016, another Missouri jury awarded an ovarian cancer
survivor $55 million in a lawsuit alleging talcum powder caused her development
of ovarian cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or cervical
cancer following years of talcum powder exposure, then
call our family of West Virginia personal injury attorneys and tell us your story. We ensure that our clients, whether in WV or other
states, understand their rights and provide aggressive, compassionate
representation to ensure they are fully compensated under the law.