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Talcum Powder and Cancer Lawsuits

Talcum powder, or talc, is a common product found in many households. Many people call products that contain talc “baby powder,” a term that belies its potential danger to women.

Decades ago, in 1971, scientists discovered talc particles in cervical and ovarian tumors, offering compelling evidence that linked talc with ovarian cancer.

Over the years, numerous studies have proven that talc particles can move through the genitourinary tract to the ovaries in the peritoneal cavity. When talc particles become embedded in the tissue, they can cause an inflammatory reaction. It is now believed that inflammation is a key contributor to the development of ovarian cancer.

What is Talc?

Talc is a natural mineral made up of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. There are seven states in the United States that produce talc, but most of it is mined in Texas, Montana, Vermont, and New York.

Chemically, it is similar to asbestos, and it is often mined near asbestos mines. Talc is believed to cause a type of ovarian cancer that is similar, histologically, to mesothelioma – which is caused by asbestos.

It should be noted that some 20,000 women are annually diagnosed with ovarian cancer; worse, 15,000 women die from ovarian cancer each year.

The Dangers of “Baby Powder”

It is widely known that countless women use baby powder as part of a personal hygiene routine. Even though the makers of talc-based products have been aware of the known risks of using their talc-based products, they have failed to warn the public, and are eschewing products liability as such.

Numerous studies over the past four decades have shown that there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer to women who use talc-based products in the genital or perineal area.

Consider this:

  • Approximately one in 70 women in the general population have the potential to develop ovarian cancer
  • Approximately one in 53 women who use talc-based products have the potential to develop ovarian cancer
  • The use of baby powder may contribute to 2,500 new cases of ovarian cancer every year, and 1,500 deaths annually

Manufacturers’ Culpability

Companies that produce baby powder or talcum powder – such as pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson – have failed to warn consumers about these known health risks. They have not removed their products from the marketplace, nor have they even attached a warning label to their packages. They continue to market their talc-based products to unsuspecting consumers.

In recent years there have been many lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for their failure to warn women of the risks associated with their products. The company has been found liable for fraud, negligence, and conspiracy for their failure to adequately warn women of the potential risks associated with their product.

The family of one women who lost her life to ovarian cancer was awarded $72 million dollars in damages over her wrongful death. Legal actions against manufacturers of talc-based products remain ongoing.

Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyers of McCann & Wall, LLC Will Seek Justice for You

Corporate companies such as J & J are putting people at risk every day, and we will hold them accountable. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using a talc-based product, and you are thinking about filing a talc lawsuit, please call the Philadelphia product liability lawyers of McCann & Wall, LLC at 215-569-8488. You can also contact us online for a free evaluation of your case. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.



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