Talc and Ovarian Cancer – What You Need to Know

Johnson & Johnson first began marketing and selling talcum powder in 1892 to midwives and women who just gave birth. The product quickly grew in popularity, and became an additive in all kinds of toiletry and cosmetic products. Its reach is so great, that even today it is associated with the smell of babies.

For decades, women used the product to dust their genitals and undergarments to deter odor, and the powder was also used in condoms and diaphragms. Beginning in 2009, over a hundred years after the product hit the market, Johnson and Johnson became involved in class-action lawsuits over a connection between talc and ovarian cancer. Lawsuits accuse Johnson and Johnson of negligence, conspiracy and failure to warn of the dangers of the product.

Connection Between Talc and Cancer

Because talc is not an actual medical drug, adequate reports and studies have not been kept or required by the FDA, making it difficult to fully confirm the association between talc and ovarian cancer. In addition, cancer is innately difficult to study, because it’s influenced by many different factors, and it’s ethically unrealistic to expose women to a product that many cause cancer in a study.

However, according to the New York Times, there have been at least 10 small studies that have shown an increased risk of ovarian cancer with the use of talc powder by women long-term around their genitals. And in 2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified talcum powder as a possible carcinogen if used in the female genital area.

Talcum Powder Lawsuits

The first woman to file a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson was a 49-year-old who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder on her genitals everyday for 30 years. That was in 2009 and since then, thousands of additional women with ovarian cancer have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson. In February 2016, two families were awarded multimillion-dollar jury awards with a combined total of $127 million.

If you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer and believe it might be linked to the use of talcum powder, Arkansas personal injury lawyers can advise you on the next steps to pursue compensation.

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