As consumers, we rely upon the safety of many common household goods to enhance the quality of our lives. Talcum powder is one such product that for years has been used to keep skin dry and prevent irritation, especially in young children. It contains unique properties which absorb moisture and reduce friction. Many consumers are unaware that talcum powder is a dangerous carcinogen. Talc has been linked to ovarian cancer when used by women for feminine hygiene as well as lung cancer and pulmonary disease in those that regularly inhale the substance (i.e., daycare workers, talc miners, etc.).
At Porter Malouf, P.A., we fight hard for those who have been injured due to talcum powder exposure. In fact, R. Allen Smith, Jr., an attorney in our Talc Litigation Group, filed the first successful talcum powder lawsuit in 2009 against several talcum powder mining companies, refiners, and manufacturers. Brought by plaintiff Deane Berg, the toxic tort action specifically alleged that the defendants continue to produce, market, and sell talcum powder despite their knowledge that it can cause certain cancers, including ovarian cancer. In 2013, a federal jury ruled in favor of Ms. Berg as a result of her injuries, giving hope to the thousands of women who have developed ovarian cancer after years of using this dangerous substance.
If you have been harmed as a result of using talcum powder, call Porter Malouf, P.A. today at (866) 957-1173 to learn more about how we can fight for the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys work with the foremost experts on the subject, many of whom have published their findings linking ovarian cancer and talcum powder use. When you meet with us during your free and completely confidential initial consultation, we will review the facts of your case, evaluate your legal options, and assist you in determining whether filing a lawsuit is right for you. There is no fee for our legal services, as we only get paid if you win.
Contact us now to learn more about how we can help you.
WHAT IS TALCUM POWDER?
Talc, also known as magnesium silicate, is an inorganic material made up of finely ground particles of stone. In its natural form, talc may contain asbestos; however, since the early 1970s, all home-use talcum powder products in the U.S. have been asbestos-free.
Several different products contain talcum powder; however, the most popular ones are as follows:
Johnson & Johnson’s(R) Baby Powder
Shower to Shower(R) Absorbent Body Powder
Additional products such as makeup, facial powder, tampons, sanitary napkins, condoms, and diaphragms may contain talc
TALCUM POWDER AND OVARIAN CANCER
When applied to the genital and perineal area, talcum powder particles can travel up the vagina, through the uterus, and into the fallopian tubes, ultimately migrating into the ovaries. Exposure to talc over an extended period can develop ovarian cancer, a rare yet deadly form of cancer. As many as 10,000 women develop ovarian cancer each year due to talcum powder, representing over 40% of all newly diagnosed cases in the U.S. A recent study (discussed below) suggests that women who use talcum powder in the genital and perineal areas have a 36% to 41% greater chance of developing ovarian cancer. In light of this alarming statistic, we recommend that women stop using talcum powder immediately.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’VE BEEN INJURED?
Ovarian cancer may not manifest symptoms until the disease has significantly progressed and spread to other areas of the body. As a result, if you use talcum powder and have experienced any of the symptoms listed below, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you have not had any symptoms, the use of talcum powder dramatically increases your risk of developing ovarian cancer, so it is highly recommended that you receive regular gynecological screenings from catching the disease early. According to the American Cancer Society, only 19% of women receive an early ovarian cancer diagnosis, which could increase if women seek regular gynecological care.
The primary symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
Pelvic and/or abdominal pain
Trouble eating or feeling of fullness
Abnormal vaginal discharge and/or bleeding
EARLY TALCUM POWDER OVARIAN CANCER WARNINGS
In 1971, a report indicated certain dangers associated with using talcum powder; however, its findings were heavily contested by Dr. G.Y. Hildick-Smith, Johnson & Johnson’s former medical director. Subsequently, a publication was released in the journal Lancet, indicating that the harmful effects of talc “should not be ignored.” This warning was confirmed in a 1992 report published in Obstetrics & Gynecology. It found that women frequently use talc in the genital region dramatically increases their chances of developing ovarian cancer.
Since 1992, more than a dozen publications have documented the link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. One of the most significant studies was published in 2003 in Anticancer Research. In this study, researchers evaluated 16 prior talcum powder studies involving nearly 12,000 women, which established a 33% greater chance of developing ovarian cancer after frequent talcum powder use.
Despite the above evidence demonstrating a link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer, the substance remains unregulated in the United States. As a result, millions of people are unknowingly exposed to it, putting them at a greater risk of developing cancer and other serious complications.
RECENT TALCUM POWDER STUDY INDICATES SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS
According to a recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health, women who use talcum powder in their genital and perineal regions daily are 1.4 times more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Researchers analyzed more than 3,000 women during the study (1,385 had ovarian cancer while the remaining 1,802 had never contracted the disease), which further established that they have about a 40% greater chance of receiving an ovarian cancer diagnosis after regular and frequent usage of talc-containing products. Although earlier studies found that talc can cause ovarian cancer, this one suggests that the risks of contracting ovarian cancer are higher than previously thought.