Talcum powder is a common and seemingly harmless personal hygiene product. But evidence has grown in recent years that using talcum powder on your body and genitals over the years can lead to ovarian cancer. Some people have found that after using talcum powder for personal hygiene for years that they were diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.
On average, one out of 75 women will get ovarian cancer, which is about 1% of the population. Based on many research studies involving many thousands of women, those who used talcum powder on their genitals were approximately 30% more likely to get ovarian cancer than those who did not. This means over life, the woman who uses talcum powder increases her odds of getting ovarian cancer from 1.3% to 1.7%. It means that if one million women use the product, 4,000 more women will get ovarian cancer. (center4research.org).
Some women with stage 4 ovarian cancer have filed wrongful death lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and have won in court. To date, there are at least 13,000 talc-related lawsuits around the country. One verdict awarded a woman $29 million for Johnson & Johnson allegedly causing her stage 4 ovarian cancer. (Reuters.com)
Is There Asbestos in Talcum Powder That Causes Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer?
Talc is a natural mineral that contains silicon, magnesium, and oxygen. Because it is the softest mineral on earth, it is often used for its smooth texture in hygiene products.
Sometimes talc can contain traces of other minerals, such as asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. If asbestos is accidentally breathed in, ingested, or otherwise absorbed into the body, it is possible it can lead to ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is cancer most associated with asbestos exposure, but there is a lot of evidence today that small amounts of asbestos in talcum powder can cause stage 4 ovarian cancer in women.
SEE ALSO: Stage 4 Mesothelioma
Guidelines were adopted in 1976 by the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association to make sure that talcum powder products would not contain asbestos. These were voluntary guidelines and stated that asbestos found in talc must be removed so that consumer products would not have any detectable amount of asbestos.
Regardless of the guidelines, clinical studies done since the 1970s determined that some samples of J&J talcum powder do still contain asbestos. One study tested several talcum powder products and found that many of them contained trace levels of asbestos that could be inhaled or absorbed into the body. (mesothelioma.net)
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Based on past court cases, there is a clear link between long term use of talcum powder on the female genitals and ovarian cancer. Trace levels of asbestos have been found in some talcum powder samples over the years, and many scientists believe this is a reasonable explanation for how talcum powder could cause ovarian cancer.
- One clinical study looked at the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer rates in 1,000 women. It looked at the personal hygiene habits of 600 women with stage 4 ovarian cancer and 700 healthy women. The clinical study found that using talcum powder on a regular basis on the genitals boosted the risk of getting ovarian cancer by 45%. The risk of ovarian cancer for women over a lifetime who used talcum powder was higher than those who did not use it. (org)
- Another study looked at how talcum powder could lead to ovarian cancer. Researchers found talc particles when they looked at tissue samples from ovarian tumors. This showed that talc particles can migrate from the outer genitals into the ovaries. Most scientists think that while talcum powder itself does not cause ovarian cancer if the powder has traces of asbestos, this is what could lead to ovarian cancer.
- Another clinical study that was reported at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology found gene mutations in cancer cells of ovarian tumors that were caused by talcum powder particles. The first effects were in the fallopian tube cells. This is a vital piece of information that supports the notion that talc can cause ovarian cancer because it was already thought that ovarian cancer starts in the fallopian tubes. (com)
Johnson & Johnson Knew Asbestos Was in Some Talcum Powder Samples
A 2018 investigation by Reuters looked at thousands of J&J internal documents and company memos from the early 1970s until the early 2000s. The documents stated that as early as 1971, researchers had told the company that they had seen traces of asbestos J&J Baby Powder. (Reuters.com)
These documents suggested that company scientists and officials were aware of the asbestos in the powder but did nothing about it. In fact, they claimed the amount of asbestos was too small to cause problems. They even lobbied the FDA to agree with that assessment.
Successful Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits
There is considerable evidence that some talcum powder may have contained asbestos, and this can lead to stage 4 ovarian cancer. Over the last several years, there have been several ovarian cancer talcum powder verdicts:
- In August 2017, a woman received a $417 million verdict as she was dying from stage 4 ovarian cancer. She used baby powder on her genitals from the 1950s until 2016. (com)
- In May 2017, a jury in St. Louis awarded $110 million to a woman who was being treated for stage 4 ovarian cancer that had spread to her liver. She used baby powder on her genitals for 40 years. (com)
- In November 2016, a jury in California awarded $70 million a woman with stage 4 ovarian cancer who had used baby powder on her genitals for 40 years. (com)
- In July 2018, a jury in St. Louis awarded 22 women $4.6 billion against J&J for causing their stage 4 ovarian cancer related to using the powder on their genitals. (com)
The bottom line is there is a link between stage 4 ovarian cancer and using talcum powder. If you have been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and used talcum powder, you have legal rights.
Get Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer Legal Help Immediately
With over $30 billion available for victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial compensations without ever filing a lawsuit. Complete the form or call us toll-free (800) 352-0871.