Talcum Powder Resources

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Talcum Powder Resources Overview

Attorneys at Bodden and Bennett are reviewing ovarian cancer or mesothelioma lawsuits filed by women who used talc powder or other talc products and then developed the disease.


About the Talcum Powder Lawsuit

More than 20 studies have linked talcum (talc) powder to ovarian cancer since 1971, and an analysis of 16 of these studies found that women who used talcum powder were 33 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson, which makes popular talc-based products, has been accused of knowing about the risk of ovarian cancer since 1982 but did not inform women using these products.

Additionally, recently unearthed information reported by The New York Times indicates that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the possibility of asbestos in their talc products. According to the article, the company spent decades trying to keep this negative information out of the public’s eyes.


Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

Researchers have been studying the possible link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder for decades. When used near the genital area, talc powder may travel to the ovaries and embed itself in ovarian tissue. Talc is a natural mineral, but it is very difficult for the body to rid itself of the particles, which can result in inflammation and cancerous tumors.

The Lancet published the first study showing that talc might cause ovarian cancer in 1971. A majority of ovarian tumors were found to have talc particles deeply embedded in them, according to the study. Researchers discovered in 1982 that women using talcum powder during ovulation were at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer by 92 percent. An additional 21 studies were performed on talc powder over the subsequent three decades, and almost all came to the conclusion that women who used these products near their genitals were more likely to get ovarian cancer.

Talc use near the genitals is currently considered a “risk factor” for ovarian cancer by both the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers of talc powder have not placed warnings about this risk on their products despite this possibility.



What is talc?

Talc is a naturally occurring, soft mineral composed of oxygen, silicon, and magnesium. A variety of cosmetic products are made from the fine powder obtained after talc is mined and processed.

What is talc used for?

Talc can be found in a wide range of products, including talcum powder (baby powder), feminine hygiene products, makeup, lotions, and deodorants. Some women use talcum powder in their genital area since it has an odor- and moisture-absorbing properties. Using condoms, menstrual pads, and diaphragms can lead to exposure to the mineral.

Why is talc harmful?

Talc deposits are commonly found near asbestos deposits, which are carcinogenic. Many types of cancer have been linked to asbestos, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, a rare lung disease. Cancer can even develop from trace amounts of asbestos, and diagnoses are often made decades after talc-containing products were used.

While talc-based wares are required by law to be asbestos-free since the 1970s, scientists have noted that compliance is difficult. There is also evidence that companies continued to sell asbestos-containing talc long after regulations went into effect. According to a recent report by Reuters, Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder contained asbestos from 1971 to the early 2000s, exposing consumers to serious health risks.

Talcum powder is associated with an increased risk of cancer of 30% to 60% in women who use it on their genital area, according to the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. Talc may cause this disease by inducing chronic inflammation of the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries, and suppressing cancer-fighting antibodies.

There has also been a link between talcum powder and mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer. Airborne particles can irritate the lungs, cause chronic inflammation, and eventually become cancerous tumors.

Why are people filing lawsuits?

Thousands of people have filed lawsuits against companies that use talc in their products after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. There have been many recent lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, with victims alleging they contracted cancer after using talc-based items consistently for years.

In addition to the lawsuits, attorneys have claimed that Johnson & Johnson knew for over 40 years that their products contained asbestos. In internal documents, J&J hid this information from the public and refused to put safety warnings on its products or take them off the market.

How many lawsuits have been filed?

Over 13,000 lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson were pending as of March 2019. Lawsuits are also pending against other producers of talc products.

Have there been any settlements or verdicts?

Cases involving ovarian cancer and mesothelioma have resulted in several settlements and verdicts against Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, and other manufacturers. The number of settlements has been on the rise since 2019.

J&J was found liable for ovarian cancer by a St. Louis jury in July 2018, which awarded 22 women who took the baby powder before getting ovarian cancer $4.6 billion. Joanne Anderson was awarded $25 million in May 2018 by a jury that concluded her use of talcum powder caused her mesothelioma. Patricia Schmitz, who was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive talc products, was awarded $10 million by a federal court in June 2019.

These are just a few examples of recent verdicts against companies. Talc manufacturers have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to victims since 2016.

How are companies responding to lawsuits?

In spite of numerous losing verdicts and settlements, companies continue to insist that their products contain no asbestos or cause cancer.

Who can file a lawsuit?

You may be eligible to file an individual lawsuit if you developed mesothelioma or ovarian cancer after using talc-based products, especially if you have a consistent history of using them for a long period of time.

Your cancer could have been caused by one containing talc if you used it frequently and for a prolonged period of time. In light of the fact that statutes of limitations differ from state to state, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your diagnosis.

What can I win in a talc lawsuit?

You can recover different amounts depending on the type of lawsuit you file. Several consumers are suing Johnson & Johnson for damages related to the cost of the product in a class-action lawsuit. There is an important distinction to understand, however: class actions don’t cover individual health-related costs.

As an individual, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses if you file a lawsuit. The final settlement amount will depend on the costs of your medical bills, the symptoms you experienced, and how much work you missed.

What can an attorney do for me?

A good lawyer will make sure that your interests are protected. You will be given a clear understanding of your legal rights, and expert witnesses will be supplied to bolster your case.


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