Regular use of talc-based baby powder in the genital area may increase a woman’s chance of developing ovarian cancer by as much as 30 percent, according to a research report in the Journal of Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Talc is one of the main ingredients in products such as Johnson’s® Baby Powder and Shower to Shower® body powder for women. A naturally occurring mineral, talc shares chemical similarities with asbestos, another mineral widely known to cause deadly cancers.
When talcum powder is directly applied to the genital area, talc particles can travel up the vagina, into the fallopian tubes, and then into the ovaries, where the talc molecules can lodge for decades. Talc can cause inflammation in otherwise healthy tissue and, when chronic, this inflammation may contribute to the development of cancer.
Risks of Talcum Powder for Women Known for Decades —
and Dismissed by Manufacturers
In 1982, Harvard Medical School professor Dr. David Cramer published the first scientific study associating talcum powder use on women’s genital area with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Subsequent research published in scientific journals such as the American Journal of Epidemiology through the 1980s and 1990s supported Dr. Cramer’s findings. A study published in 1992 urged manufacturers to put warning labels on talcum powder products because of the threat to women’s health.
However, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) lawyers admitted in federal court that the company had been aware of the research associating ovarian cancer with talc since the early 1980s, but J&J intentionally decided not to put warnings on their packaging or in their ads.
While there have been several studies associating talcum powder with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, due to the nature of the illness, we are currently reviewing cases involving fallopian tube cancer, as well as ovarian cancer.
Recent Multi-Million Dollar Verdicts Making Headlines
Johnson & Johnson lost their first talcum powder case in February 2016 when an Alabama woman, who developed ovarian cancer from using their baby powder, won $72 million in damages. Of the $72 million, $62 million was assessed in punitive damages, aimed at punishing the company for negligence.
In May 2016, another jury awarded $55 million to a South Dakota woman who had used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for more than 35 years before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011.
To read more about these verdicts, read our blog post here.
Take Action If You or a Loved One Has Been Diagnosed With Ovarian or Fallopian Tube Cancer
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer after regularly using talc-based baby powder, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Sokolove Law today for a free, confidential legal consultation.
Johnson’s® Baby Powder is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.
Shower to Shower® is a trademark of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. Prior to 2012, it was a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.
Any medical decision is important. Please consult your doctor before making any medical decision.