Talcum powder is a product that most parents have used liberally for their children during the diaper phase. It is a product that many women continue to use for personal hygiene throughout their adulthood. Even though many women use it, it may be responsible for causing ovarian cancer.
This product, is sold by Johnson & Johnson as Baby Powder, Shower-to-Shower Body Powder, and as other talc powder products. Johnson & Johnson appears to have known about the dangers for years, and appears to have done little about it, except for continuing to sell these products.
What are the Dangers of Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is a substance that has been used for cosmetics for thousands of years. There is mounting evidence that talcum powder may cause ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States.
What did Johnson & Johnson Know about the Dangers?
There have been several studies which have revealed the potential dangers of talcum powder:
- 1971: a study discovered that talc was inside 75% of ovarian tumors
- 1982: The New York Times published a report that implied Johnson & Johnson knew women who used talcum powder on their genitals may be three times as likely to develop ovarian cancer
- 2013: A study in Cancer Prevention Research revealed that women who used talcum powder were 20 to 40% more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
Alternatives to Talcum Powder
It is not clear how much use is required before ovarian cancer becomes a concern. It is undetermined whether it may or may not be a concern for babies. Because of cancer concerns, as well as concerns about the effects of talc powder inhaled into the lungs, many companies use substitutes like corn starch, aloe vera, arrowroot powder, and kaolin clay.
Talcum Powder Litigation
Several talcum powder lawsuits have been filed in New Jersey, where Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters are located. Under New Jersey procedures, those cases may be consolidated, or grouped together, before one judge for more efficient handling. Tellingly, both plaintiffs (those filing the lawsuits) and the corporation agree that consolidation is a good idea.
If you have questions about talcum powder use by you, your family, or your babies, contact our medical malpractice lawyers to evaluate your case. You can reach us at (440) 252-4399 or online for a free consultation.