Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Attorneys


What is Talcum Powder?

Talcum Powder has been used for decades to help absorb moisture on the body and prevent rashes. The main ingredient is talc, the softest mineral on earth. Talc is made up of magnesium, silicon and oxygen, and became widely popular for its ability to absorb both moisture and odor. Talc is the main ingredient in baby powder. In many households across the country you will find products from one of the largest baby powder manufactures in United States, Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson Held Liable for Failing to Warn of Talcum Powder Dangers

So far in 2016, Johnson & Johnson has already been instructed by the courts to pay over $125 million in damages and punitive damages in two historic cases. In February, a family was awarded $72 million when a jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for negligence and conspiracy, as well as a failure to warn consumers about the risks of using baby power around and near the genital area. The victim died from ovarian cancer in October 2015. Less than three months later, a second jury ruled in favor of a 62-year-old woman, this time with a $55 million verdict. She used Johnson & Johnson’s baby power and Shower to Shower products on her genital area for almost four decades and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011.

The $72 million verdict marks the first time a plaintiff was awarded financial compensation from Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn consumers that products contacting talc may cause cancer. The initial case against the company came two years earlier when another user of the talc product sued Johnson & Johnson after turning down a $1.3 million settlement with the company out of court. She did not want to sign a confidentiality agreement so the case went to trial. The jury in federal court ruled in her favor, claiming the company was negligent in its failure to warn.

By the spring of 2016, Johnson & Johnson was facing over 1200 lawsuits from women who feel that Johnson & Johnson knew the risk of using talc in their products in connection to cancer but failed to warn of the dangers when used in connection with feminine hygiene. The company stands by their products as being safe, despite the jury’s’ verdicts against its company.

Did Johnson & Johnson Know the Link between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer?

“All they had to do was put a warning label on.”

That was the statement from the jury foreman in Jackie Fox’s trial. While litigation involving talcum powder is relatively new, research on the connection between the powder and ovarian cancer has been going on for decades.

  • In 1971, British researchers working on a study of ovarian tumors found talc particles “deeply embedded in the tumors”.
  • In 1982, epidemiologist Dr. Daniel Cramer found a link between the use of talc on the genitals and ovarian cancer. Since then, 20 additional studies have supported Dr. Cramer’s report that long-time use of talc can increase the risk ovarian cancer by one-third.
  • In 1997, a medical consultant for Johnson & Johnson informed the company in an internal memo that denying a risk between talcum powder and ovarian cancer would be “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary”.
  • In 1999, the American Cancer Society recommended women use cornstarch based powders in the genital area instead of talcum powder. There has been no connection between cornstarch and a risk for ovarian cancer.
  • In 2006, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) warned that the use of talc-based powder is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.

Can Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?

Unfortunately, since talcum powder is considered cosmetic, it is not required by law to be approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The science behind the use of talcum powder as a cause as ovarian cancer suggests that when the powder is applied to the genitals, in underwear, on sanitary pads, diaphragms or condoms, that the particles are absorbed through the vagina and travel to the uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries.

While the epidemiological studies show that women have a 1 in 70 chance of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the odds increase to 1 in 53 when talc products are used. The Centers for Disease Control report ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in the country with 20,000 women diagnosed each year.

Establishing a definitive link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer is ongoing. Women who may have been affected need to know when they take legal action against manufacturers that they are being represented by knowledgeable lawyers up who are up to date on the latest developments and know how to successfully proceed.

If you have developed ovarian cancer and feel it may have resulted from the use of talcum powder, please contact a Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Attorney at Finz & Finz, P.C., today at (855) TOP-FIRM or fill out our Free Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Evaluation form.