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Ovarian Cancer & Talcum Powder

If you or a relative are suffering from ovarian cancer and also used baby powder regularly, make sure to contact an experienced talc and asbestos litigation lawyer today. Please call 1 (800) 799-7914 for a free consultation. There are thousands of active cases being pursued against Johnson & Johnson in various courts and more will follow.

For decades, Johnson & Johnson has promoted its baby powder to women, who have regularly used the product in genital areas as a perineal antiperspirant and to treat chafing between the legs. In particular, many women living in hotter climates throughout the United States have used the baby powder to stay dry.

The key ingredient in baby powder is talcum powder, a soft mineral that is often contaminated by asbestos, a dangerous carcinogen that causes ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, lung cancer and other diseases. Not surprisingly, many studies have found a significant association between the use of cosmetic talc products for women's health and the development of ovarian cancer.

Although Johnson & Johnson has known about the dangers of its baby powder products for over 40 years, the company never warned women of the risk of ovarian cancer. As Johnson & Johnson earned billions in dollars of profits, generations of unsuspecting women used its body powder as part of their daily hygiene routine.  Even as evidence of the danger of genital powder use grows, Johnson & Johnson continues to deny all allegations that the use of talcum powder in its cosmetic products causes cancer.

Recent events, however, offer hope to baby powder consumers suffering from ovarian cancer.  A Missouri Court ruled in favor of twenty-two women suffering from ovarian cancer, holding Johnson & Johnson liable for $2.1 billion in damages. At the same time, a New Jersey appeals court ruling has revived two baby powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, which may lead to the reinstatement of 1,000 similar lawsuits. The growing number of cases may force Johnson & Johnson to pay $10 billion to resolve the suits, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts.

If you or a relative used baby powder and later developed ovarian cancer, keep reading to learn more, as you may be able to file a claim against Johnson & Johnson. Most importantly, make sure to contact an experienced talc and asbestos litigation lawyer to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.

Does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?

According to experts at the National Center for Health Research, a growing body of evidence suggests that the longer a woman uses talcum powder in the genital area, the more likely she is to develop ovarian cancer. Based on the pooled analysis of several studies, the World Health Organization has concluded that there was an “unusually consistent” higher risk of developing ovarian cancer among these women.  Cohort studies using meta-analysis suggest that talc exposure is a significant risk factor for epithelial ovarian cancer, with women who have used talcum powder about 30% more likely to be diagnosed than women who have not.  Unsurprisingly, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has listed cosmetic talc application as potentially “carcinogenic to humans.”

Among other evidence, a 2016 case control study supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggested that the genital use of talc in personal care products led to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.  A recent study found gene mutations in the cancer cells of ovarian tumors exposed to contaminated talc powder, while Dr. Wera Berge has found a statistically significant association between genital use of talc and ovarian cancer.  Dr. Daniel Cramer, Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard and head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital, estimates that regular use of talc products may cause up to 10,000 new cases of ovarian cancer each year.

2016 study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that African American women who use talcum powder in the groin area have a 44 percent increased risk for ovarian cancer.  These results are particularly upsetting, as Johnson & Johnson has specifically marketed it's baby powder products to African American women in southern US states for many years.

According to the American Cancer Society, experts believe that talc particles applied to the genital area or on sanitary napkins may travel through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries and reproductive tract, where it can remain lodged for many years. Asbestos can remain in the body for long periods of time, often leading to a cancer diagnosis many years after the initial exposure. For that reason, even though the Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder currently on store shelves is made from cornstarch and is asbestos-free, women may still be developing ovarian cancer due to using contaminated products many years earlier.

2013 markup of J&J's website recognizes the company's talc may have been tainted in the past.

2013 markup of J&J's website recognizes the company's talc may have been tainted in the past. (REUTERS)

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