Many women use talcum powder to prevent chafing. They might use it as a feminine hygiene product for its drying and freshening benefits. Take notice that the product has been linked to ovarian cancer. Studies in 1982, 2003, 2008 and 2016 appear to confirm this link.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you believe that talcum powder may have played a role, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. To find out more about your legal rights and options, please call the Louisville personal injury lawyers of Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC at (800) 937-8443.
The largest sellers to consumers
Talcum powder is a common product, and it’s found in households across the country. It’s often used in products like Johnson’s Baby Powder, Baby Magic Powder and Shower to Shower. For millions of women, talcum powder is part of a daily personal hygiene routine that they’ve followed for decades.
The lack of risk awareness
In 2013, one of the first talcum powder product liability cases went to trial. A jury found in favor of a South Dakota woman who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder for more than 20 years. Like other women, the South Dakota plaintiff simply wasn’t aware of any risk connected with the product.
Studies have linked talc particles with ovarian cancer since 1971 when a team of British researchers that analyzed 13 ovarian cancer tumors found talc in 10 of them. Some researchers believe that talc crystals migrate up the female genitourinary tract to the ovaries and cause inflammation that can cause ovarian cancer. They’re of the opinion that the longer that a woman uses talcum powder, the greater their risk of the cancer. A study published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer places the increased risk at between 30 and 60 percent.
Juries have believed the link
Talcum is mined from the earth, and it’s found in close proximity to asbestos. We all know that asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen. Johnson & Johnson is the nation’s largest maker of talcum products. Juries across the United States are beginning to confirm that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the ovarian cancer risk since sometime around 1982. Juries also found that the company failed to warn women of the increased ovarian cancer risk from using its talcum products. More than 2,500 lawsuits have now been filed against Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder manufacturers, and there have been hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts.
The southern marketing strategy
Talcum powder manufacturers have targeted women across the United States, including women throughout Kentucky. It’s a simple fact that women sweat more in the southern geographical region of the country. It seems as if a disproportionate number of women suffering from ovarian cancer from talcum powder use are African-Americans. A study from the University of Virginia as late as 2016 found that regular use of talcum powder by African-American women might place them at a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.
No warnings on the consumer product
Regardless of the apparent connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, manufacturers of products that contain talc aren’t required to print warnings on product containers. That’s because the product is primarily intended for cosmetic use, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no authority over cosmetic products.
Punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson
In awarding $72 million to the family of the North Dakota woman, a jury found it suspicious that talc suppliers for Johnson & Johnson warning labels on the talc that they supplied, but Johnson & Johnson didn’t put any warning labels on the containers that it placed in the stream of commerce that were marketed and sold to the general public. Of the $72 million award, $62 million was in punitive damages. That jury also considered evidence that Johnson & Johnson’s own internal memos indicated that it was aware of the talcum powder cancer risk for 20 to 30 years and did nothing about it. Juries have awarded more than $600 million in four other cases since 2016.
Contact a Louisville Talcum Powder Injury Lawyer
If somebody in your family in or around Louisville or anywhere else in Kentucky has used talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product and has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you’ll want to speak with our office to arrange for a confidential free consultation and case evaluation as soon as possible.