Does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer in Women?
Talcum powder may seem like a fairly harmless product. It’s not like an intrusive surgical device or a pill with potential serious side effects.
But as a Virginia products liability lawyer, I have heard concerns that it may be linked to cancer. Now a federal jury in South Dakota has agreed.
Recently the jury in Sioux Falls found that a woman’s use of Johnson & Johnson products that contained talcum powder contributed to her ovarian cancer. The jury said Johnson & Johnson should warn consumers about the “link between ovarian cancer and the use of talc-based body powder for feminine hygiene,” reported Rapid City Journal.
The lawsuit was filed by Deane Berg, a Sioux Falls resident, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. The lawsuit claimed the 56-year-old used talcum-based products for hygiene purposes for about three decades, including Shower to Shower body powder.
Ms. Berg claimed that Johnson & Johnson had known for decades of the existence of studies linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer. The jury declined to award damages in this case.
The American Cancer Society provides further information about the potential links between talcum powder and cancer.
It points out talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral comprising the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. “As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes. It is widely used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and adult body and facial powders, as well as in a number of other consumer products,” it points out.
However, in its natural form, some talc products may contain asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled. Products for home use in the United States have been asbestos-free since the 1970s.
While there is a concern about talc miners breathing talc fibers, the area of the law that has attracted recent attention is whether women who apply talcum powder regularly in their genital area are running an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
In June, 2013, Britain’s Daily Mail carried a story that said women who regularly use talcum powder around their genital area, increase their risk of ovarian cancer by 24 percent.
The article said talcum powder is made from a soft mineral called hydrous magnesium silicate.
“Some experts say it shares chemical similarities to asbestos, which can cause a deadly form of lung cancer called mesothelioma. Tiny particles have been found to travel up through the genital tract and been found deep inside the pelvis.”
There are few warnings about what appears to be a genuine threat to the health of women. But in South Dakota a jury clearly believed talcum powder caused cancer, in what could be seen as a bellwether case.
If you have been harmed by dangerous product call our Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com.
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