Talcum powder, a soft white powder, is a commonly used ingredient in consumer goods like personal hygiene products, cosmetics, and even baby powder. For decades talcum powder was used daily in households across the country, but recently the substance has been linked to serious health concerns. Within the last five years, some manufactures who use talcum powder in their product have been in the hot seat following the discovery of a link between the substance and ovarian cancer. There have also been concerns about workers who are exposed to talc fibers and whether they are at an increased risk for developing lung cancer.
What is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is created by grinding talc, which is the softest mineral on earth. Talc is composed of mineral magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. When talc is grounded into its fine powder form it can be used to reduce friction and it can absorb moisture and odors. Talcum powder is a staple in baby powder, and the famous Johnson & Johnson baby powder is composed almost entirely of talc.
Mothers across America used talcum powder to treat their babies’ diaper rash, finding the substance soothed skin irritations. The product became a staple in the nursery and it was also used daily by women in their feminine health care routine in an effort to promote cleanliness. The substance can also be found in deodorants, eye shadow, blush, perfumed powder, foot powder, and even chewing gum.
The Dangers of Talcum Powder
Many women and some men grew up using talc powder daily, most commonly in the form of baby powder, both for their children and themselves, completely unaware of any lurking danger. What was once recommended to help soothe babies has now been linked to potentially deadly health complications.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now warns parents not to use baby powder that contain talc. Studies found that the substance was linked to several respiratory complications including a chronic lung irritation known as talcosis.
Beginning in the 1970s, studies slowly came to light exploring the link between ovarian cancer and talc, finding talc particles embedded in ovarian tumors and the ovaries. It is believed that when one has long-term exposure to talcum powder, the talc particles can enter the body from the genital area and move to the ovaries where they implant into the tissue. The American Cancer Society began warning women in in the late 1990s that talcum powder could create an increased risk for cancer and has recommended using a starch-based powder as an alternative.
Today, more than 1000 women have sued Johnson & Johnson claiming the company was aware of the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer and failed to properly warn consumers. In 2015 during a jury trial in St. Louis it was discovered Johnson & Johnson was aware of these health risks in the early 1990s yet it continued to market the product without any disclosure of potential danger. It is believed Johnson & Johnson purposefully hid information about the safety of talcum powder for over forty years. The jury in St. Louis issued a $72 million verdict in favor for the plaintiff who was killed in 2015 by ovarian cancer linked to talc in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.
If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer and believe it is linked to talcum powder use, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, or if your loved one has been diagnosed or killed by ovarian cancer and you believe talcum powder is to blame, please do not hesitate to contact the defective drug attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. Class actions are being filed against Johnson & Johnson across the country and individual claims against Johnson & Johnson have been filed in multiple states, including Illinois, as well.
The legal team of Abels & Annes, P.C. has a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to help you understand your options. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to victims who contact us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575 and everything discussed during the consultation will be kept confidential. If you prefer, contact us online and one of our attorneys will be in touch regarding your injuries.