No one should ever find out a seemingly innocent product marketed at families may have actually been causing extreme long-term harm. Unfortunately, that is the reality far too many women are facing who developed ovarian cancer after trusting that talcum powder products were safe.
Understanding the Basis for Talcum Powder Lawsuits
A naturally occurring mineral, talc has a long history of being mined and processed into talcum powder used for absorbing moisture and preventing rashes. Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson in particular has sold products containing talcum powder for more than a century.
Multiple generations of families have relied on talc-based baby powders from Johnson & Johnson and other companies for everyday use. Unfortunately, evidence is growing about the increased risk of ovarian cancer when talcum powder is used regularly around the genital area.
Research indicates that talc particles can travel inside the body and become embedded in an ovary, eventually leading to inflammation and cancerous growth. That revelation led to thousands of lawsuits against companies like Johnson & Johnson. While many are still pending, a significant number of cases at this point have been settled or resulted in damages awarded to consumers who developed cancer.
Warnings About Talcum Powder
Lawsuits brought by cancer survivors or their families are complicated by the fact that talcum powder is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a cosmetic, rather than a drug to be consumed.
Although the FDA has posted safety alerts that some talc products can contain asbestos, the organization hasn’t issued any warnings about talcum powder’s link to ovarian cancer at this point. Other organizations have warned consumers about the potential dangers of baby powder made using talc, however, such as:
- International Agency for Research on Cancer. This arm of the World Health Organization looked at studies over a 40-year period and concluded there is a possible link between ovarian cancer and using talcum powder on the perineal area.
- American Cancer Society. Although this organization warns more research is needed, the Society lists talcum powder use as a potential risk factor in ovarian cancer.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has warned that frequent exposure to talc can be dangerous, especially if inhaled.
- European Union. The EU has restricted the use of talc in cosmetic products and warned against using these products on genitals.
Due to plummeting sales of talcum powder products, Johnson & Johnson ceased all shipments of talc-based baby powder to the United States in 2020. Most baby powder products used in the U.S. now use corn starch rather than mined talc.
Do I Have a Case if I Used Talcum Powder and Developed Ovarian Cancer?
If you used talc-based products and were diagnosed with cancer, you need an experienced attorney to determine if you should move forward with a lawsuit. A lawyer can thoroughly investigate your case to:
- Establish that you used a qualifying talcum powder product over an extended period of time
- Prove you have cancer
- Show a link between talcum powder and your cancer diagnosis
- File a lawsuit within the statute of limitations
If you think talcum powder is responsible for your cancer, it is critical to talk with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Aside from the limited timeframe to file a lawsuit, there are also other factors that can complicate the case, such as the type of baby powder you used.
Corn starch-based powder for instance has not been shown to have a link to ovarian cancer in the same way as talc. An attorney can also help you overcome other common pitfalls in these types of cases, such as if you have a family history of ovarian cancer. If you have a good case, your attorney can help pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
You may have a wrongful death claim if your loved one died of cancer. This type of case can be thought of as an extension of the personal injury claim your loved one would have been able to fill if they had not passed away.
Don’t Wait to Talk to an Attorney If You Have Ovarian Cancer
The bottom line is that you never should have been harmed by a product that was advertised as being safe. If you or are a family member are struggling with a cancer diagnosis, talk to a legal professional as soon as possible. Let our experienced talcum powder lawsuit attorney evaluate your case and help you decide on the best path forward.