For decades, talcum powder has been used as a feminine hygiene product.
Unfortunately, regular use of talcum powder for this purpose has been linked to the development of deadly ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is an aggressive type of cancer that starts in a woman’s ovaries, but quickly spreads to other parts of her body as the cancer grows.
It has few initial warning signs, so women often do not discover that they have ovarian cancer until it has progressed.
As a result, treatments like chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation are less effective, and the cancer causes many fatalities.
Of all the reproductive cancers, ovarian cancer is the most deadly.
In the article below, we’ll discuss the likelihood of talcum powder causing your ovarian cancer, and what you can do about it.
Talcum Powder Injuries And Side Effects
The most severe potential side effect of women using talcum powder is ovarian cancer.
According to the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, frequent powder use on the female genital area increases the risk of cancer between 30-60%.
The more often she uses it, the more likely she is to experience cancer.
It’s estimated that thousands of women get ovarian cancer each year through the use of talcum powder.
Prominent medical researchers all agree that regular perineal use of talc-containing products can increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by about 30%.
Did Talcum Powder Cause Your Ovarian Cancer?
When women use talcum powder to dust their sanitary napkins, tampons, and genital areas, the talc particles can travel through their reproductive system and into their ovaries.
There the particles can become embedded in ovarian tissues, causing inflammation, irritation, and damage to DNA, which allows the development and growth of ovarian cancer cells.
Numerous studies dating back to the 1970s have found talk particles in ovarian tumors of women who regularly use talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product.
As a result, many women and their families have been suing Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, the two most popular products containing talc.
The lawsuits claim that Johnson & Johnson knew of the dangerous link between the use of its products for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer, and failed to warn consumers of those dangers.
At the time of this writing, there have been at least 1,200 individual lawsuits and at least two class-action lawsuits filed so far.
Some of them have already been to trial, with juries awarding women and the families of deceased women who died of ovarian cancer millions in damages, including punitive damages.
Examples Of Talcum Powder Lawsuits
Below are just a few examples of talcum powder lawsuits that awarded damages to the victims of ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder.
August 2017 Eva Echeverria received a $417 million jury verdict. Eva was dying from stage 4 ovarian cancer, after having used baby powder daily from the 1950s through 2016. Eva won $68 million in compensatory damages and $340 million in punitive damages.
May 2017 A St. Louis jury awarded $110 million to Louis Slemp, who was being treated for aggressive ovarian cancer that had metastasized to her liver. Louis used baby powder for more than 40 years.
November 2016, A California jury returned a verdict of $70 million for Deborah Giannecchini. She was undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for more than 40 years. Sixty-five million dollars of the verdict was for punitive damages.
July 2018 A St. Louis jury awarded 22 women $4.6 billion against Johnson & Johnson for causing them to suffer ovarian cancer related to the use of baby powder and asbestos fibers contained in their product.
May 2016 A jury awarded Gloria Ristesund, who was being treated for ovarian cancer, $55 million. She had used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for decades.
February 2016 A jury determined that Johnson & Johnson was responsible for the death of Jacqueline Fox, who had been using talcum powder for personal hygiene for more than 35 years. The total award was $72 million, including $62 million in punitive damages.
Should You Pursue A Talcum Powder Claim?
If you regularly used talcum powder for personal hygiene and developed ovarian cancer, you’re probably wondering if your cancer was caused by the use of talcum powder.
And, you’re probably wondering if you should pursue a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson because of it.
Understanding the criteria used to determine whether to pursue a claim can help you decide if you should move forward with a lawsuit.
In most cases, lawyers ask the women interested in pursuing a lawsuit these questions:
- Have you been diagnosed with an ovarian-type cancer?
- Have you used talcum powder on a regular basis for four years or more as a feminine hygiene product?
- Have you used Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower?
- Have you had biopsy results that show evidence of talcum powder?
- Do you have a family history of ovarian cancer or a genetic disorder pre-disposing her to ovarian cancer, such as the BRCA-1 gene?
Now you might be wondering what happens if you’ve answered yes to some of these questions and no to others.
Maybe you answered yes to using talcum powder, but it wasn’t for at least four years.
Because things like this get complicated rather quickly, you don’t want to decide whether or not you should pursue a claim on your own.
Even if you don’t meet all of the criteria, you still might have a claim for compensation.
It’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can investigate your claim, review your medical records, and decide as to whether or not you should pursue a lawsuit.