For generations, talcum powder has been a staple in many American households as both a cosmetic and consumer product.
However, since 1971, there have been over 20 studies linking this talcum powder to ovarian cancer. Sixteen of these studies found that women using talcum powder were 33% more likely to develop this type of cancer.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed over the years against manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson who refuse to put a warning label on their talcum powder products.
What is Talcum Powder?
Talc, the softest material known to man, is a clay substance that is composed of oxygen, magnesium and silicon. It was used by the Ancient Egyptians and in its most natural form, talc contains asbestos which is known to cause lung cancer when inhaled. Talcum powder became asbestos free in 1970.
Talcum powder is used as an agent to help absorb moisture on skin and prevent odors, which is why many women use the product on their genital area. Studies have shown that women who do this on a regular basis have a 40% higher risk of ovarian cancer.
There has been other research that shows no link to cancer, but the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies the use of talc as “possible carcinogenic.”
Talcum Powder Lawsuits on the Rise
Allegedly, Johnson & Johnson has known about the risks of the powder since 1982, and thousands of lawsuits have been filed against them. It’s believed that talc can travel to the ovaries and become imbedded in tissues. Inflammation can occur as a result and cancerous tumors may form.
The latest case was filed by Eva Echeverria. On August 17, 2017, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay her $417 million as she claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s talc based women’s feminine hygiene product.
Even as more lawsuits continue to pour in, Carol Goodrich, a representative from Johnson & Johnson Consumers, stated that “we will appeal today’s verdict [referring to the Eva case] because we are guided by the science which supports the safety of Johnson’s baby powder.”