Talc is naturally-occurring mineral primarily made up of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. It has been mined in the United States since the late 1800s for use in various products. In many cases, talc is reduced to a fine powder to be used in products such as:
- Baby Powders
- Body Powders
- Medicated Powders
- Sanitary Pads
Talcum powder is known to absorb moisture and eliminate friction. For these reasons, it has been used in different baby and body powders for generations. Today, it is not uncommon to see talc products in the bathrooms of homes throughout the United States.
Ovarian Cancer in Women Who Have Used Talc Products
Since the 1980s, different studies have linked the use of talcum powder around the female genital area with ovarian cancer. The application of talc-containing feminine hygiene products can result in talc particles traveling through the vagina, into the uterus, and to the ovaries. These particles can take years to dissolve and can cause inflammation, which can eventually lead to fatal conditions and cancer. Women who use talcum powder around the vaginal area have a 20-30% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Despite the studies, companies like Johnson & Johnson chose not to warn women of the potential harm talc use could cause within their bodies. Internal documents show that the company was aware of the possible risks of talcum powder use, but continued to strategically market the product to women across the country.
In addition to ovarian cancer in women, some studies have shown that talc miners have an increased risk of lung cancer and other respiratory conditions due to prolonged exposure to talc particles while on the job.
Lawsuits Filed Against Johnson & Johnson
Instead of protecting consumers from potential injury and illness, manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson continue to argue the safety of their talc products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder. They do not believe there is any reason to add a warning label to talc products. Consumers do not feel the same.
It has been reported that over 5,500 lawsuits associated with ovarian cancer are currently pending against Johnson & Johnson. In August 2017, a California woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer was awarded $417 million in damages after using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder daily. She began using the product in the 1950s, but she stopped using it in 2007 after she was diagnosed.
In February 2016, the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer was awarded $72 million in damages against the company. It was determined that her use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder products led to her cancer and eventual death.
In May 2016, a jury in Missouri awarded $55 million to another woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer. According to the lawsuit, she used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for decades. The jury determined that the company’s talc-containing product was responsible for her condition.
On March 13, 2019, an Oakland, CA jury issued a $29 million verdict for plaintiff Teresa Leavitt against Johnson & Johnson after their talc baby powder product caused her terminal mesothelioma. On August 21, 2018, a Los Angeles, CA jury issued a $417 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in favor of several plaintiffs after Johnson & Johnson talc baby powder products caused their ovarian cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talc products, you might also be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
Mesothelioma From Talc Contaminated with Asbestos
Additionally, many talc mines are contaminated with asbestos because the veins of talc and the veins of asbestos run adjacent to each other, resulting in the asbestos being removed right along with the talc. The contaminated talc is then used to manufacture supposed asbestos-free products such as cosmetics and body powders that actually contain asbestos.
Legal Services for Mesothelioma and Ovarian Cancer Victims
The manufacturers of talc products need to be held accountable for their negligence, their failure to warn consumers of the associated dangers, and more. If you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma due to the use of a talcum powder product, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.