Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
You’ve probably used talcum powder for years – and your parents likely used it on you when you were a baby. It seems like the most innocent of products, yet there is evidence that women who use talcum powder on their genitals, or place it on sanitary napkins to reduce odor, may be placing themselves at risk for ovarian cancer.
What is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder, as the name suggests, derives from talc – a mineral consisting of silicon, magnesium and oxygen. The powder form absorbs odors and reduces friction. This soft mineral also has industrial uses, and is included in some paint, paper, rubber and ceramic manufacturing. It is found in cosmetics and even as filler in over-the-counter supplements. In 2006, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified talc as a possible human carcinogen.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is particularly deadly because the early signs are subtle, and many women are not diagnosed until the cancer has metastasized, or spread. Some scientists believe the cancer risk from consumer talcum powder products arises from its use as a feminine hygiene product, when talcum powder particles move from the vagina, to the cervix, and eventually to the ovaries. Every year, approximately 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and about 14,000 will succumb to the disease. Nationally, a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer is about one in 70. However, a woman who regularly used talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes has a much higher risk – about one in 50. A 2013 study published in Cancer Prevention Research by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who used talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product had a 20 to 30 percent greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson
While pharmaceutical and consumer product giant Johnson & Johnson’s baby talcum powder is a big seller, so is Shower to Shower, talcum powder marketed for adult women. The company refers to studies linking its products with ovarian cancer as “inconclusive,” and has not put warning labels on talcum powder products. In 2013, an ovarian cancer patient who had used Shower to Shower for 30 years sued the company. The jury found that Johnson & Johnson had failed to warn consumers about a link between ovarian cancer and its products containing talcum powder.
Last year, the company faced claims by about 700 ovarian cancer patients who allege they contracted the disease through regular use of Shower to Shower.
The Goldwater Law Firm – Serving Our Clients Nationwide
If you or someone you know has suffered from ovarian cancer and was a regular user of talcum powder, the Goldwater Law Firm can help. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other associated costs. Our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys will analyze the details of your case to determine the best strategy for moving forward. It is our goal to make the process as efficient and painless as possible so that you can get the compensation you deserve, and move on with your life. Contact the Goldwater Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.