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Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Recent research has made a connection with the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Many lawsuits are pending against the manufacturers of talcum powder for causing ovarian cancer resulting in jury verdicts of millions of dollars in damages.

What is Talc?

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral found in clay and extracted from the soil. It’s use comes from the fact that it is the softest mineral found on earth. Talc is produced naturally and consists of a combination of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Because of its softness, it is used in many consumer products such as cosmetics, personal care products, chewing gum and in the manufacture of tablets.

What is Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder is made from talc and it is popular because it absorbs moisture and eases friction (and rashes). Talc has a natural tendency to absorb moisture which is why it is used in such varied uses as baby products and blush cosmetics. It prevents caking in cosmetics and improves the feel of products.

Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

This subject has been the subject of a great deal of research. The evident that talcum powder causes cancer is inconclusive, but in its natural state talc can contain asbestos, which does cause cancer. The issue has gotten more attention recently because of recent lawsuits which assessed damages against manufacturers of talcum powder for causing cancer.

A St. Louis jury in 2016 saw an internal Johnson & Johnson (which is a huge maker of talcum powder) memo from 1997 which discussed a connection between talcum powder use and ovation cancer. The memo discussed the “negative publicity from the healthy community on talc” and “anybody who denies (the risks” between “hygienic” talc use and ovarian cancer would be viewed as similar to those who denied the link between cigarettes and cancer (“Denying the obvious in the face of all evident to the contrary”).

After listening to all the evident the St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after finding a connection between the use of Johnson & Johnson baby powder and cancer. The case is being appealed.

Over 1,000 additional suits have been filed by others who claim their cancer was caused by talcum powder.

If you have been diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer, you should talk to experienced lawyers to evaluate a possible claim you might have against the makers of talcum powder. Contact personal injury attorney Peter Wachowski for additional information. Our Chicago products liability firm has been handling products liability cases for over 30 years with excellent success.