Studies Link Talcum Powder to Ovarian Cancer

A recent study has found that women who regularly powdered their genitals with talcum based powder are at a one-third higher risk of ovarian cancer than those who did not. Researchers asked 2,041 women with ovarian cancer and 2,100 similar women without ovarian cancer about their talcum use. The women who said to have applied the powder to their crotch, thighs, sanitary napkins, tampons and underwear were we found to be 33% more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

In early May, Johnson and Johnson was ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of an Alabama woman; they claimed the company’s talcum powder caused the ovarian cancer which eventually led to her death. Studies have shown links to talc powder and ovarian cancer as early as 1971, when a scientist in Wales discovered particles of talc embedding in ovarian and cervical tumors.

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral made of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc power has been mined in close proximity to asbestos, a known carcinogen and many talc manufacturers have taken extra precaution to prevent contamination. Talc has been used with many cosmetics like blush because it is extra absorbent without caking.

After the 1971 study, another study performed in 1982 by Dr. Daniel W. Cramer, an obstetrician and gynecologist compared 215 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the Boston area and 215 healthy women to serve as a control group. The study found that women who used the powder were at about twice the risk for having ovarian cancer and those who used it regularly on their genitals, sanitary pads and underwear were at roughly three times the risk. Since then, 10 subsequent studies revealed the same results with varying percentages of increased risk.

Attorneys have argued that Johnson & Johnson knew of link but neither the company nor federal officials acted to remove the powder or add warning labels. The Food and Drug administration has been petitioned twice, once in 1994 and again in 2008, to add talc warning labels but the agency stated there was “no conclusive evidence” to establish talc powder as the cause for ovarian cancer. However the agency did state that it is plausible that talc “may elicit foreign body-type reaction and inflammatory response that, could progress to epithelial cancers. Talc suppliers used by Johnson & Johnson added the warning labels to their products in 2006.

Today, more than 1,000 women have filed claims against the Johnson & Johnson. If you believe your ovarian cancer was caused by the use of Talc powder, you should contact an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney. Our case evaluations are always free and you don’t pay us a dime unless we reach a financial settlement or judgement in your case.

Categories: Product Liability