Talcum Powder and Cancer Risk

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talcum powder causing cancer lawsuit | defective product lawyersWhat is Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder[1] is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes.

Although talcum powder is widely used in many bathrooms and nurseries, a connection between its use for intimate feminine hygiene and elevated ovarian cancer risk has been suspected since 1971 when scientists saw a possible connection between the dusting of female genitals with talcum powder and ovarian cancer. More recently, in June of 2013, a study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research[2], reviewed data from eight research papers that involved nearly 2,000 women.  Their analysis showed an increased risk of ovarian cancer of 20-30% for women who used talcum powder for intimate personal hygiene.  Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., with 20,000 women being diagnosed with the illness each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2016 Verdicts for Talcum Powder Injury

In February of 2016 a jury awarded the family of a Missouri woman $72 million in a civil lawsuit.  At the time of trial attorneys introduced into evidence a September 1997 internal memo from a Johnson & Johnson medical consultant suggesting a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer[3], according to the Associated Press (AP). In the memo, the consultant reportedly wrote that anyone who denied the risk between hygienic talc powder use and ovarian cancer would be “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”

In May of 2016, a woman from South Dakota was granted $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages after she claimed Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder-based products[4] caused her ovarian cancer making it the second lawsuit the company lost this year.  According to the New York Daily News, attorneys in the South Dakota case alleged that “Johnson & Johnson has known about the dangers associated with talcum powder for over 30 years.”

Contact a Talcum Powder Injury Attorney

The pharmaceutical product liability attorneys at McEwen Law Firm are dedicated to protecting consumers from unsafe products including talcum powder. If you or a family member were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, please call our office today: Phone: (651) 224-3833 Toll Free: (800)732-3070 Email: gmcewen@mcewenlaw.com or mschmid@mcewenlaw.com.

[1] http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum-powder-and-cancer
[2] http://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2013/06/12/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0037.abstract
[3] http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5d39bd418fcb427aa2d154a4b0093efd/st-louis-jury-awards-72m-johnson-johnson-cancer-suit
[4] http://www.medicaldaily.com/johnson-johnson-lawsuit-talcum-powder-products-ovarian-cancer-385166