Women who use talcum powder products in the vaginal area for feminine hygiene may face an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer or other types of cancer. Multiple studies have established a link between the use of products containing talcum powder and cancer risks. Hundreds of women who were diagnosed with cancer after using talc have filed lawsuits against companies that manufacture talcum powder, baby powder, and body powder products.
Several studies have concluded that the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene may increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer. When talc particles are sprinkled in the vaginal area, they can travel up the fallopian tubes and become lodged in the ovaries, where they may cause irritation. This irritation can lead to ovarian cancer.
The first study linking talc with ovarian cancer was published in 1971. Researchers in Wales discovered talc particles embedded in the tumors of women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and cervical cancer.
Subsequent studies have highlighted the increased risk of ovarian cancer faced by users of talcum powder products in the vaginal area. In 2016, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that women who applied talcum powder to their genital area or on sanitary napkins, tampons, or their underwear were 33% more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Also in 2016, a study found that African American women who used talcum powder were 44% more likely to be diagnosed with the disease.
Recently, the use of talcum baby powder for feminine hygiene has also been linked to an increased risk of uterine cancer (also known as endometrial cancer). According to a 2010 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the use of talcum powder products in the vaginal area may increase the risk of uterine cancer, especially in postmenopausal women.
Researchers in the study found that female talcum powder users were 21% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer of the uterus; for postmenopausal women, this risk increased to 24%. The authors of the study said that additional research should be performed in order to further assess the link between the use of talcum powder and uterine cancer risks.
Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that can affect the lining of the heart, lungs, or abdomen. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was once commonly used for insulation, fire prevention, and heat resistance.
Because asbestos and talc are commonly found close together when they are mined, consumers who use talcum powder products may be at risk of being exposed to asbestos. Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers of talcum powder products have publicly stated that their products are asbestos-free. However, experts have expressed concerns that the testing methods used to ensure that these products do not contain asbestos may not be accurate enough to detect minute asbestos levels that could still place consumers at risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.
Recently, Johnson & Johnson and other talc manufacturers have faced lawsuits filed by consumers who were diagnosed with mesothelioma after using talcum powder products. These lawsuits have alleged that manufactures of talcum and baby powder failed to properly ensure that their products were asbestos-free, and concealed information about the possible asbestos contamination of these products from the public.
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder products sold by Johnson & Johnson or other manufacturers. Lawsuits have also been filed on behalf of women diagnosed with uterine cancer after using talcum powder products.
In February 2016, a jury in Missouri awarded $72 million in damages to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer linked to her use of Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other talcum powder products sold by Johnson & Johnson. The case was the first ever talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits resulting in damages for the plaintiff. In May 2016, a woman who underwent a hysterectomy after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer from her use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum baby powder was awarded $55 million in damages from another Missouri jury.
If you or a loved one used talcum powder products for feminine hygiene and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about your legal rights. For a free consultation about your case and to find out if you qualify to file a lawsuit, call our law firm toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located at the top of this page.