Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits

Quick Summary

Repeated use of talcum powder in the genital area may increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer. Women who have developed ovarian cancer after using talc-based baby powder are eligible for a free case review and may be entitled to compensation.

Talc Powder Breaking News

On May 19, 2020, Johnson & Johnson announced that it will discontinue sales of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in the United States and Canada.

The medical and cosmetic goods giant made its decision following declining sales and the continued rise in lawsuits claiming its baby powder caused cancer. The baby powder lawsuits alerted many Americans to the link between the use of Johnson & Johnson talc-based products and ovarian cancer.

This announcement came after U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing found asbestos contamination in select Johnson & Johnson products in 2019.

With dozens of lawsuits mounting against Johnson & Johnson, many are speculating whether the decision to pull one of their best-known products is really about diminishing sales.

It has become all too possible that the corporation is seeing the writing on the wall — and that the danger of their products have been exposed to the public and there’s no turning back.

Could this lead to them accepting liability for their actions? Will they continue to hide behind a shield of virtue, or will they do the right thing?

For the consumers’ sake, hopefully Johnson & Johnson is realizing the end game is near.

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Cancer Victims Are Filing Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson has known about the dangers associated with continuous use of talc products since the 1970s. However, they will not add a warning label to the product packaging or ads.

The company generated a memo on March 3rd, 1975 instructing its managers to stop all internal studies into the safety of talc products in order to avoid uncovering any information that might be damaging or embarrassing. Company policy was to only initiate studies as a reaction to confrontation.

Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits

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.

Since then, there have been several multi-million dollar verdicts against Johnson & Johnson regarding their talc-based baby powder.

Multi-million dollar talcum powder cancer verdicts include:

  • $72 Million awarded by Johnson & Johnson in 2016
  • $55 Million awarded by Johnson & Johnson in 2016
  • $110 Million awarded by Johnson & Johnson in 2017
  • $417 Million awarded by Johnson & Johnson in 2017
  • $117 Million awarded by Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America in 2018

In spite of the major verdicts, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Johnson & Johnson alone is currently facing more than 16,000 talc related lawsuits as consumers who were put at risk by greed and irresponsible business practices ask for justice and compensation in court.

If you or someone you love uses talcum powder, or used it in the past, and have since been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, contact Sokolove Law for a talcum powder cancer free case review. You may be eligible for compensation.

Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

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%, 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.

Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer

While a long history of medical studies has firmly linked repeated use of talc products to an increased risk of ovarian cancer, some ovarian cancers are more likely to develop than others.

The most common type of ovarian cancer to develop from talcum powder use is epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Epithelial tumors grow on the outer surface of the ovaries and come in several varieties, all of which are affected by prolonged use of talcum powder, according to an analysis published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Like most ovarian cancers, EOC is difficult to detect during routine gynecological care. It may not show up on a pap smear, and ovarian tumors are difficult to feel during a routine pelvic exam.

Common methods of early EOC detection include: 

  • Transvaginal ultrasound: Uses sound waves to search for tumors in the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries
  • A blood test: Checks for the CA-125 protein, high levels of which are often found in women with ovarian cancer

However, doctors may be unlikely to use either of these methods unless a patient is already showing persistent symptoms of ovarian cancer.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer tend to hide in plain sight, resembling symptoms of other, less dangerous conditions. By the time doctors think to check for ovarian cancer, it has often already started spreading to nearby organs and through the rest of the body.

Ovarian cancer symptoms may include:

  • Back pain
  • Bloating
  • Constant fullness/trouble eating
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Menstrual changes
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Stomach swelling
  • Weight loss

Any woman experiencing these symptoms daily for more than a few weeks should speak to her doctor as soon as possible for proper screening.

Risks of Talcum Powder for Women Known for Decades

Studies researching the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer have been published for decades.

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 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.

In fact, Johnson & Johnson lawyers admitted in federal court that the company had been aware of the research associating ovarian cancer with talc since the early 1980s, and the corporation intentionally decided not to put warnings on their packaging or in their ads.

Due to the overwhelming scientific evidence and Johnson & Johnson’s refusal to add warning labels, we are currently reviewing cases involving ovarian cancer after using talc-based baby powder.

Get Legal Help for Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after regularly using talc-based baby powder, you may be entitled to compensation.

Call Sokolove Law today for a free, confidential legal case review.

Author:Sokolove Law

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of personal injuries and their families.

Last modified: May 20, 2020

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