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Talcum Powder

The Link Between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Talcum powder products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower have been used by women for personal hygiene for decades. Talcum powder absorbs moisture and odor and has a pleasant, fresh scent. For these reasons, many women use these products in the genital area on a daily basis. Unfortunately, talcum powder products are increasingly linked to ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer affecting women. As if this isn’t enough of a shock, new evidence shows that manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, may have known about this risk in the early 80s. Contact a Boston Personal Injury Lawyer Today.

How does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?

Talcum powder is made with a mineral called talc. When used in the genital area, talc particles can enter the vagina and travel through the fallopian tubes, into the ovaries. If they become lodged in the ovaries, talc particles can result in irritation and inflammation that may eventually cause cancerous cells to form.

Currently, nearly 2,000 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson. In February, 2016 a jury awarded $72 million to an ovarian cancer victim whose cancer was linked to talcum powder use. Three months later, a jury awarded $55 million to another victim for the same reason.

The Risk for African-American Women is Even Higher

African-American women are at an even greater risk of developing this deadly disease. According to Joellen Schildkraut, an epidemiologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, “African-American women have been targeted for use of body powder, and they use it more commonly.” Schildkraut and her team studied 584 African-American women with ovarian cancer and 745 without the disease. Nearly 63 percent of the women with the disease used talcum powder regularly.

A 2015 study found that 44 percent of black women reported using talc-based products, compared to 30 percent of white women. According to research, Johnson & Johnson may have targeted black women in their marketing efforts in the 1990s.

Did Johnson & Johnson Know About the Risks in the 80s?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 20,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually. More than 14,000 die every year. The most disturbing evidence to come out of these lawsuits shows that the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer may have been known for decades. If this is true, Johnson & Johnson’s failure to warn about the risks may have resulted in thousands of deaths.

In 1971, The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a study revealing that talc particles were present in 75 percent of ovarian tumor tissue. Researchers believe that women who use talcum powder in the genital area have a more than 30% greater risk of developing ovarian cancer than those who don’t.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Personal Injury Law Firm

If you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer after using talc-based products, the skilled attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Ovarian cancer is an especially aggressive form of cancer with a high mortality rate. It is appalling to learn that Johnson & Johnson may have known about the link between its products and this deadly disease, and chose to continue marketing talc-based products to women. When a company places profits above the health and safety of its customers, it should be held accountable. If you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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