Commonly used in household and cosmetic products, talcum powder could pose a threat to your health. Talcum powder has been linked to cancerous side effects for decades. It is most commonly associated with ovarian cancers. This product still remains on store shelves and lacks a warning label.
Talc powder is used regularly by women of all ages. Some estimates show that approximately one out of five American women apply talc powder to the genitals. Talcum powder is often used to absorb moisture, prevent rashes, keep skin dry and cut down on friction.
Talcum powder is made from talc, which is a mineral that contains magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the main manufacturer of talcum powder products, does not use warning labels and denies a link to ovarian cancer. J&J talcum powder products include:
- Johnson’s ® baby powder
- Shower to Shower® absorbent body powder
- All other face/body/deodorizing powders
Talc Product Testing
Many talc products have shown mixed results in testing for carcinogenic properties. Research into the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer began in the 1970s when talc particles were found in ovarian tumors. Animal testing has shown that some lab animals form tumors from exposure to talcum powder and some do not.
Additionally, it is unclear whether the reactions of these animals can be applied to humans. Findings are also mixed in human testing, showing either no risk or a slight increased risk. One study found a 30 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer within a person’s lifetime with the perineal, or genital use of talcum powder.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that if talcum powder is applied to the genitals, the particles can travel to the ovaries through the vagina and fallopian tubes, possibly causing inflammation and growth of ovarian cancer cells. Talcum powder is sometimes applied to the genitals for hygienic purposes or used with sanitary napkins, diaphragms or condoms.
Perineal use is relatively prevalent among women. The ACS suggests to limit or eliminate the use of consumer products containing talc and to switch to cornstarch based cosmetic products for safety.
Although the dangers of talc were first recorded in the 1970s, lawsuits against J&J have been ongoing since 2013. Women who have used talc powder and have since developed ovarian cancer are coming forward to file claims against Johnson & Johnson, who may have failed to warn consumers of its health risks.
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with ovarian cancer while using talcum products? If so, we may be able to help. Contact Simmons Hanly Conroy today for a free legal consultation.
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