Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer: The Issues
What is Talc? What is Talcum Powder? What are the risks of developing Talcum Powder Cancer or Baby Powder Cancer of the Ovaries?
Many who have heard of the latest dangers pertaining to talcum powder cancer and baby powder cancer of the ovaries may wonder just how dangerous talc actually is, and if it can result in talc cancer. Asbestos is inherent in some talc, although since the early 1970’s, talc used in homes has been asbestos-free. Talc is the softest mineral on earth, largely made up of the elements magnesium, silicon and oxygen. In its powder form, talc has been associated with some respiratory diseases.
When talc is crushed into a powder, it becomes the main ingredient in many cosmetics, as well as some baby powders. While talcum powder has been used to prevent slippage in latex gloves, it has largely been replaced with corn starch in that particular applications. Talcum powder is used in electronics and as an insulator because of its high resistance to heat and electricity. Talc is also used as a filler in many paints, rubber and insecticides, and can be used as an ornamental stone, carved into figures, tiles, sculptures and jewelry boxes.
Who Manufactures Talc and Who Makes Talcum Powder?
While there are many manufacturers of talcum powder across the U.S., many of the talcum powder lawsuits currently filed against Johnson & Johnson also name Imerys Talc America Inc., a global mining company which was the primary supplier of talc to the pharmaceutical giant. Other marketers of talc powder are named in some cases.
In the most recent talcum powder lawsuit outcome—which awarded $72 million to the family of a deceased woman in a wrongful death talcum powder lawsuit—Imerys was originally named as a defendant in the Johnson & Johnson lawsuit. No award was made against Imerys in this case, presumably because the mining company began warning J & J in 2005 of the potential talc cancer risks associated with raw talc.
Problems Associated with Talcum Powder, and the risk for developing Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer
Talc, which contains asbestos can cause talcum powder cancer when inhaled, although evidence related to asbestos-free talc, is less clear. Many studies among women have looked at the possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, and some researchers believe that the talc powder particles, when used in the genital region, may move through the vagina, uterus, and Fallopian tubes to the ovaries.
There have been many conflicting results regarding whether the use of talcum powder in the genital area can lead to an increased risk of talcum powder ovarian cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer states:
Based on the limited evidence from human studies of a link to ovarian cancer, IARC classifies the genital use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
Understanding Talcum Powder Cancer, Baby Powder Cancer, and Talc Cancer of the Ovaries; How Does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?
While Johnson & Johnson does make several powder products with cornstarch rather than talcum powder, they continue to manufacture one J & J baby powder, as well as J & J Shower to Shower, which contain talc. Consider the following warnings regarding talcum powder cancer & baby powder cancer of the ovaries:
- The first warning of potential risks associated with using talc in the genital area came in 1971 when an article in The Lancet warned that “The potentially harmful effects of talc…in the ovary…should not be ignored.”
- In 1992, a study was published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology which found regular use of baby powder with talc in the genital region increased a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer threefold.
- A 1997 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology correlated the use of talcum powder in the genital region to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
- Anticancer Research compiled and reviewed metadata of almost 12,000 women, concluding perineal use of baby powder with talc was associated with a 33 percent increase in ovarian cancer.
- In 2008, Harvard researcher, Dr. Margaret Gates, concluded the daily use of J & J Shower to Shower (and other similar products) increased the risk of ovarian cancer by 41 percent.
- Dr. Gates and two other Harvard researchers published a study in 2010 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention which reinforced the belief that talc used in baby powder may be carcinogenic to humans.
Ovarian Talcum Powder Cancer / Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit Results in $72 Million J & J Verdict
A Missouri jury apparently believed there was a correlation between talcum powder and ovarian cancer when they awarded $72 million in the wrongful death talcum powder lawsuit of a 62-year old woman who died of ovarian cancer. The trial lasted three weeks, ending with $10 million in actual damages being awarded as well as $62 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson. Johnson and Johnson currently faces another 1,000 cases filed in Missouri state court as well as 200 filed in New Jersey. Some of the claims asserted in the Johnson & Johnson lawsuit include a failure to warn women about the potential risk of talcum powder cancer / baby powder cancer of the ovaries as well as fraud, negligence and conspiracy.
Talcum Powder Cancer and Baby Powder Cancer of the Ovaries: Legal Help
Women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after years of using Johnson & Johnson baby powder or J & J Shower to Shower could benefit from speaking to an ovarian talcum powder cancer lawyer. You could have a valid talcum powder lawsuit, and could have all your questions answered and your rights protected by an experienced attorney. Ovarian baby powder cancer legal help is available.