Manufacturers and consumers alike are paying closer attention to the debate over talcum powder’s risks and its link with ovarian cancer.
Many consumers use products that contain talcum powder, such as some baby and adult body powders. Talcum powders contain a mineral called talc. Recently, talc has come under fire for its possible carcinogenic properties. In other words, there is concern that some talcum powders might present a cancer risk for users.
Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly how strong the link is between talcum powder and cancer, but there was enough of a correlation to prompt a jury to award payment to the surviving family members of a woman who suffered ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for several years. Manufacturers and consumers alike are now paying closer attention to the debate over talcum powder’s risks.
A Jury’s Decision
In February 2016, a Missouri jury awarded $72 million to the surviving family members of a woman who suffered ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s products containing talcum powder for decades. Jurors believed that Johnson & Johnson had committed fraud, negligence and conspiracy. The company is being criticized for failing to warn consumers about the possible link between talcum powders and cancer risks. It currently faces hundreds of similar lawsuits.
Here’s what we do know about talc:
- In its natural form, talc contains asbestos and can cause cancer
- While asbestos found in these natural forms of talc can cause lung cancer when inhaled, powders containing asbestos are no longer used in consumer products in the United States
- Lab results have been mixed regarding the correlation between asbestos-free talc and the development of cancer
- Cosmetic products, many of which contain talc, do not have to be monitored by the Food and Drug Administration, but companies are responsible for properly labelling their products.
Products that Contain Talc and Talcum Powder
- Body powders (baby powders and adult powders)
- Cosmetic products, including blush, eye shadow and foundation
- Foods, including chewing gum and rice tablets
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Detection of ovarian cancer can be difficult due to the fact that most women with the earliest stages of ovarian cancer show very few symptoms. Even more advanced stages cause symptoms that are associated with less serious conditions.
These symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Easily losing appetite, even after eating very little
- Frequent bowel movements
- Frequent urination
- General pain in the pelvic area.
If you believe that the use of products containing talcum powder contributed to your medical condition or to that of your loved one, you may be able to take legal action to receive compensation for the damages you have suffered.
To get a legal evaluation of your talcum powder case, contact the attorneys of Pogust Goodhead for a consultation.