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J&J Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Is there a link between the talcum powder that Johnson & Johnson is so well-known for and ovarian cancer?

Verdicts Against J&J in Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

On February 22, 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer after years of using the talcum powder for feminine hygiene.

The February verdict was the first loss for Johnson & Johnson. In May 2016, a second lawsuit resulted in an award of $55 million to the plaintiff and a year later, in May 2017, another plaintiff was awarded $110 million.


What is the Issue with J&J’s Talcum Powder Products

Talc is naturally occurring, mined from the soil and is widely used in cosmetics and personal care, feminine hygiene products. There have been concerns for years that using talcum powder, particularly on the genital area, may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

The American Cancer Society, on its website, cites the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which classifies genital use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic” to humans.

Lawsuits claim that Johnson & Johnson was aware of studies beginning as early as the 1970s that linked talcum powder to ovarian cancer.

To date, no federal agencies have acted to require warnings be added and J&J continues to sell the product without adding any warning to the label.


Study Links Talcum Powder to Ovarian Cancer

Dr. Daniel W. Cramer, head of Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, found a link in 1982 connecting ovarian cancer with talcum powder usage. His study found a definitive pattern that shows women who use talcum powders like baby powder or Shower to Shower on their genitals were more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that of the 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer that will be diagnosed this year, 15,000 of those women will die from the disease. Although rare, it is the most fatal of the female reproductive cancers largely due to the lack of noticeable symptoms.

Ovarian cancer tends to go undetected until it has spread and by then is harder to treat. Newer research shows talc fibers have been found in the ovaries of women who used talcum powder as a personal hygiene product and were later diagnosed with ovarian cancer.


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Have you developed ovarian cancer and suspect it could be caused by your use of talcum powder? Contact the product liability attorneys at Nash & Franciskato for a free, no-obligation review of your case.

Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.

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