Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

According to a recent study published by the “Cancer Prevention Research” journal, the use of talcum powder-based products on a woman’s genitals increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer in a woman’s lifetime.

Talc is a mineral that is composed of different elements, mainly magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Asbestos, a dangerous substance known to cause cancer in and around the lungs when inhaled, can also be found in talc naturally. When crushed down into a fine powder, talc becomes talcum powder, a household item sold primarily to absorb moisture. Cosmetic products, including baby powder and facial powder, contain talcum powder and are sold worldwide.

On Feb. 22, 2016, a jury in City of St. Louis Circuit Court found Johnson & Johnson liable for injuries resulting from the use of its talc-containing products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder for feminine hygiene. The jury awarded the family of Plaintiff Jacqueline Fox $72 million after agreeing the products contributed to the development of her ovarian cancer. The verdict includes $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. The jury found Johnson & Johnson guilty of negligence, conspiracy and fraud. Ms. Fox was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for more than 35 years. Ms. Fox passed away in October 2015 as a result of her cancer at age 62.

In 2006, Deane Berg was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum-based Johnson & Johnson brand products over a 30-year period for common hygiene purposes. Ms.Berg’s cancerous tissue was then examined by three doctors using a scanning electron microscope. The physicians then discovered talc on the ovaries, concluding that the talcum particles were able to migrate through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries. When the ovaries became inflamed from the talcum particles, the growth of cancer cells began.

A meta-analysis of different studies was performed by the Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center in Boston, Mass., and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In hopes of learning more about the relationship between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, the researchers’ examination followed 8,525 women who reported they used talcum powder in their genital area, and 9,859 who did not. The analysts determined that women who used talcum powder on their genitals regularly increased their risk of ovarian cancer by 24 percent.

Despite a jury finding Johnson & Johnson guilty of failing to warn consumers such as Deane Berg of the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson still refuses to update its product warning labels. Johnson & Johnson continues to claim that its talcum powder products are safe and it is unnecessary to alert the public.

How does talcum powder cause ovarian cancer?

Ted Meadows, a leader in the talcum powder cancer litigation, explains how baby powder can enter the female anatomy and irritate the ovaries, eventually causing cancer. He also walks through important documentation and findings that prove the manufacturers of talcum powder knew of the risks and chose not to speak out. Watch the video to find out more.
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