Cosmetic talc verdicts awarded billions to plaintiffs with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma over the past year. In all cases, the plaintiffs say regular talcum powder use (which contains cosmetic talc) led them to develop terminal cancer. However, some plaintiffs say asbestos (not cosmetic talc itself) may be the real culprit. In December 2017 and again in 2019, Claire’s recalled makeups made with cosmetic talc after a sample allegedly tested positive for asbestos. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is funding its own investigation into the #1 ingredient for most powder-based makeups.
First Cosmetic Talc Study in 1971 Finds Ovarian Cancer Link
Scientists published the first study linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer in 1971. In the study, researchers dissected ovarian tumors and discovered talc particles embedded in 75% of them. Since then, dozens of different researchers validated that first study’s results. This includes a 2013 case-control study stating regular perineal talc use increased women’s ovarian cancer risk by 33%.
But the FDA believes some study parameters may have flaws. As a result, they funded their own cosmetic talc study in 2017. The agency found that perineal talc use in rats showed unfavorable reproductive health effects.
Multiple studies published over the last 40 years demonstrated the link between regular talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. But the FDA believes the industry needs “studies with longer exposure periods and more detailed evaluation of the early events in genital system tissue transformation.” The hope is that they will fill in the current data gaps learn more about ovarian cancer.
What Current Data Shows About Cosmetic Talc and Ovarian Cancer Risks
The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS) is one FDA database that anyone can search. Users can submit complaints and concerns about the safety of various food and drug products directly to the FDA using the CAERS system. And the evidence it has on talcum powder is telling.
As mentioned above, dozens of studies have linked regular talcum powder use to the development of ovarian cancer. But cosmetic talc has hundreds of uses in various sprays, powders, and makeup products. And an overwhelming number of these reports on talc powder involve ovarian cancer. Over 126 consumer complaints involving the two are listed from January 2004 through September 2017 in the CAERS database. These reports began before any lawsuits began — and even before some popular studies.
The FDA’s involvement in a new study is timely because of this evidence. But it is also necessary since there have been almost no talc-ovarian cancer studies published in the last 15-20 years. And J&J indirectly funded most recent studies — many via the company’s lobbyist group. (Learn more about J&J’s TIPTCF/PCP lobbyist group here.)
Nakissa Sadrieh, Ph.D. is overseeing the FDA’s current cosmetic talc study. Dr. Sadrieh has worked for nearly 20 years at the FDA in multiple positions. She is now the Director of the Cosmetics Division. She states that cosmetic microbiological safety is the main goal of the division — which is what the 2017 study will determine.
How Cosmetic Talc Victims May Qualify for Compensation
While the FDA’s study on cosmetic talc and ovarian cancer looks interesting, lawsuits are already underway. Because so many reliable sources have conducted private studies demonstrating the dangers of talc, there is convicting evidence. J&J chose not to warn the public about the dangers of their talcum products despite knowledge of them. They also attempted to minimize potential risks and lobby for less regulation involving talc. All of this was to protect their staggering profit.
To see if you may qualify for a cash settlement, complete your free online claim evaluation today. It takes less than two minutes to confirm your ovarian cancer or mesothelioma claim’s eligibility. Once you’ve submitted your information, an experienced lawyer will call to discuss your case.
Mandy Voisin is a freelance writer, blogger, and author of Girls of the Ocean and Star of Deliverance. As an accomplished content marketing consultant, mom of four and doctor's wife, Mandy has written hundreds of articles about dangerous drugs and medical devices, medical issues that impact disabled Americans, veterans' healthcare and workers' compensation issues since 2016.