Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder has been under speculation for some time due its potentially carcinogenic qualities. However, a recent study suggests that the risks associated with using the powder are even higher than previously imagined. Current lawsuits against the drug maker claim that talcum powder increases ovarian cancer risk, possibly up to 33 percent. Even worse, plaintiffs say the company has known this for more than 40 years.
How Talcum Powder Increases Ovarian Cancer Risk: The 411 on Talc
Talc is the primary ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder. But what is talc? It’s a silicate mineral that forms in natural deposits next to asbestos within the Earth. Talcum powder is aptly named after talc, a mineral that constitutes talcum powder’s active ingredient. Talc contains magnesium, silicon and oxygen, and it’s used primarily to absorb moisture. That’s why you see it in many different products, from dry shampoo to shine-controlling facial powder.
The reason dry shampoo and facial powder are not under fire? Women use these products sparingly, and the biggest danger comes from inhalation. Talc should not enter the body, and when it does, bad things can happen. When sprinkled in the genital region for hygiene purposes, however, talcum powder increases ovarian cancer risk.
When Used for Feminine Hygiene, Talcum Powder Increases Ovarian Cancer Risk
The movement of talcum powder from the genitals to the ovaries is relatively simple. Particles move directly up the vaginal canal through the fallopian tubes and into the ovaries. Other products (such as condoms and diaphragms) include a talcum powder coating, but come with warning labels. Talcum powder increases ovarian cancer risk specifically when used regularly near the genitals, usually over decades.
The study published in Cancer Prevention Research shows that applying powder regularly after bathing or showering raised ovarian tumor risks by 20-30%. This is staggering, since 40% of women say they use baby powder for feminine hygiene purposes. Ovarian cancer accounts for roughly 5% of cancer deaths in women. Further, it is often difficult to identify until it’s significantly advanced. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies genital baby powder use as potentially carcinogenic, and more studies are underway. Worst of all, talc and ovarian cancer research dates back to 1961. That was the year scientists first discovered talc particles in many cancerous ovarian samples, pointing to a connection.
Speak With an Attorney
If you or someone you know developed ovarian cancer after talcum powder use, you may qualify for a cash settlement. It is a good idea to speak with an attorney before your time runs out. Many women use baby powder daily and were totally unaware of the serious risks. Filing your claim now while you’re still within the deadline is the only way to receive a cash settlement.
If you believe you may have a claim, fill out a free talcum powder case review form today.
Jared Heath is the author of The Sound in the Silence. In his role as an SEO content and digital marketing strategist, Jared was directly responsible for managing DrugJustice.com's editorial calendar and published articles on this website from 2015 to 2016. He is now pursuing a new career as a chiropractor.