Talc or talcum powder is a product that’s been around for decades. Historically, it’s typically used as one of the main ingredients in baby powder, a product that parents use on their infants and that women use to keep the groin area dry and odor free. It’s a popular product that can be found in just about every store in the country, from major chains to small gas stations. Unfortunately, its availability does not speak to its safety, which is being challenged in light of several lawsuits that have come forward linking talc powder to ovarian cancer.
What is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is made from talc, which is a mineral comprised mainly of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talc is ground up into a fine powder and serves the purpose of absorbing excess moisture and cutting down on friction. It can also be used to help keep pesky rashes at bay, which is why it’s been such a popular product for both babies and women seeking to keep their private areas dry and fresh.
Talcum powder is widely used in consumer products, from body and facial powders to cosmetics, and is even being used in some instances as a food additive. Its most popular use though, by far, is in hygienic products, such as genital deodorant sprays, that are marketed towards women. It’s so popular in fact, that experts estimate that somewhere around one in five American women use talcum powder in the genital area on a regular basis.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer: What the Facts Say
For years now there have been claims that use of talcum powder contributes to the development of ovarian cancer in women. Research into this matter has actually been going on for decades, with the first mention of the link between talc and cancer being in a 1971 study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study, authored by W. J. Henderson, investigated 13 tumors that had been removed from a patient living with ovarian cancer. Of all the tumors studied, researchers found that 10 of them contained particles of talc.
Fast forward to 2008, when Harvard epidemiologist, Dr. Margaret Gates, confirms that using talcum powder on a weekly basis increases the risk for ovarian cancer by 33%. Going further into her research, Dr. Gates went on to claim that products like Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower powder raises that risk even higher, to 41%.
Manufacturers in Question
The number of talcum powder based lawsuits has increased substantially as new research studies have appeared in the scope of the public eye. One of the largest lawsuits was filed in 2013, against major manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, asserting that the plaintiff’s 30+ year use of talc-based powder products contributed to her ovarian cancer. Although the plaintiff passed away before that trial concluded, the jury awarded $72 million in actual and punitive damages.
A disturbing part about that case is Johnson & Johnson’s knowledge of the risks of using its talcum powder. Internal company documents revealed that Johnson & Johnson knew about risks associated with talcum powder and made the conscious decision not to change its ingredients. To this day, Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products do not contain any warnings to alert consumers of the dangers of talc. The company also continues to deny any link between talc and ovarian cancer, despite the research that has been conducted on the matter.
Know Your Rights, Talk to an Attorney
The fact of the matter is, as a consumer, you deserve to be made aware of serious risks associated with the use or consumption of a specific product. If you aren’t made aware of these risks, you are no longer able to adequately protect yourself and your family Manufacturers, who refuse to warn consumers increase the chances that innocent lives will be lost.
Remember, you have rights, and if you’re a woman who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has used talc-based products, those rights may have been violated by the manufacturer. Talk to the attorneys at Carr & Carr. We can review your case and let you know if you’re eligible to seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. Our attorneys believe in being accountable, compassionate, and supportive every step of the way. Contact us online or give us a call today at 1-888-232-5158. Our lawyers have offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, but we represent defective product victims nationwide.