Talc & Ovarian Cancer
What Is Talc?
Talc is a moisture-absorbing material that is used to make baby powder and popular cosmetics. One particular issue that raises concerns about talc is that it is frequently found alongside asbestos ore. Asbestos is a known carcinogen. Before the 1970s, asbestos was found in consumer talcum powder—leading to several cases of cancer of the lung.
Talc has since become asbestos-free, and as a result remains a household item. Many adult women continue to apply baby powder to the genital area regularly.
Risk Of Ovarian Cancer Increases 30%
Studies have found that women who apply talcum powder to the genital area on a daily basis were 30% more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
Talcum powder is a fine enough mineral that it can travel through the vagina, uterus, and Fallopian tubes to the ovary. Researchers attribute this to the use of sanitary napkins, tampons, diaphragms, or condoms.
Today, expert agencies such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classify the use of talc-based powders on the genital area as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” but, due to the lack of data, asbestos-free talc on its own is “not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans.”
However, Harvard University’s Daniel Cramer has been researching talcum powder for decades and is the belief that talcum powder causes 10,000 cases of ovarian cancer every year. Juries have recently been siding with Cramer.
Jury Orders Johnson & Johnson To Pay $72 Million In Talcum Powder Cancer Case
In February of 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who claimed that her long-term use of baby powder and other Johnson & Johnson products contributed to her ovarian cancer diagnosis.
Jacqueline Fox, 62, of Birmingham, Alabama, died in October of 2015 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her son, Marvin Salter of Jacksonville, Florida, took over as the plaintiff after his mother’s death.
Fox provided an audio deposition shortly before her death, which had been presented to jurors.
The verdict includes $10 million in damages and $62 million in punitive damages. The jury found Johnson & Johnson guilty of failing to warn the public and conspiring to keep the truth from the public.
Johnson & Johnson released a statement Tuesday, February 23rd insisting that its products are safe. The health care giant is likely to appeal the verdict.
Shortly after his mother’s passing, Salter took time off work and sat through the entire trial. The company, Johnson & Johnson, was a household name that he trusted all his life, he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an interview. “My reaction was disbelief. How can a company have known about this relationship between talc and ovarian cancer since the 1970s and not disclosed it?”
“I was speechless when we heard the initial number,” Salter said of the jury award. “To think how groundbreaking this could be for so many other women.”
Jere Beasley, a personal injury attorney based in Alabama joined on with Onder Law Firm in St. Louis in representing several women who have contracted ovarian cancer after using talcum powder.
St. Louis Product Liability Lawyers
In St. Louis alone, suits over the talcum powder and ovarian cancer link include about 1,000 plaintiffs. The Fox case is the first of the plaintiffs to result in monetary compensation.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, and you believe is linked to talcum powder use, contact our office today. Our personal injury lawyers will confidentially review your case at no charge to you. You would not be under any obligation to move forward in a lawsuit. Feel free to give us a call at 314-444-4444, or email us using our online contact form.