Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Third Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit Ends in $70 Million Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson - October 27, 2016


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Medical Experts Warn Talcum Powder Causes Ovarian Cancer

A long list of cancer prevention groups, consumer advocacy organizations, and medical experts have sounded talcum powder cancer warnings, but the FDA has never been among them. The baby powder ovarian cancer link is widely accepted among ovarian cancer experts, and many advocates have urged the FDA to require a baby powder cancer warning on product labels.

The first talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was won in October of 2013, confirming the plaintiff, Ms. Deane Berg, developed ovarian cancer as a result of routinely using Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower talc products for three decades. New cases in 2016 forced Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 and $55 million respectively in damages from talcum powder cancer.

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Science

Baby Powder Ovarian Cancer Warnings and News

USA Today. A St. Louis jury forced J&J to pay $55 million in damages to a South Dakota woman who suffered from ovarian cancer. Read more HERE

Washington Post. A Missouri jury confirmed that Jacquelyn Fox's fatal ovarian cancer was related to her use of talcum powder. The plaintiff's family was awarded $72 million in damages. Read more HERE

Cancer Prevention Coalition. In 2008, Dr. Sam Epstein of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, wrote "…the industry and, worse still the FDA, remain recklessly unresponsive to [talcum powder cancer] dangers. The FDA has neither banned the genital use of talcum powder, nor required industry to label it with explicit warnings. This is all the more inexcusable since cosmetic grade starch powder is a readily available safe alternative." Read more HERE

WebMD. "The use of talc may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Talcum powder dusted on the perineum (the area between the vagina and the anus) may reach the ovaries by entering the vagina." Read more HERE

Journal of Cancer Prevention Research. "Genital powder use has been associated with risk of epithelial ovarian cancer in some, but not all, epidemiologic investigations, possibly reflecting the carcinogenic effects of talc particles found in most of these products." Read more HERE

American Cancer Society. "Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes. It is widely used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and adult body and facial powders, as well as in a number of other consumer products." Read more HERE  

Organic Consumers Association, Talcum Powder: The Hidden Dangers. "You've probably used it, or had it sprinkled on you at some time in your life. It's processed from a soft mineral compound of magnesium silicate and is called talcum powder, or just talc." Read more HERE

New York State Department of Health. "One study suggests that women who have taken the fertility drug clomiphene citrate (Clomid) may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Other possible risks being studied are a diet high in fat; exposure to asbestos; and the use of talc (a mineral substance found in talcum powder) near the vaginal area." Read more HERE

Daily Mail. "Women who use talcum powder every day to keep fresh are 40 per cent more likely to develop ovarian cancer, according to alarming research." Read more HERE

FDA. "Talc is an ingredient used in many cosmetics, from baby powder to blush. From time to time, FDA has received questions about its safety and whether talc contains harmful contaminants, such as asbestos." Read more HERE

Industry Executives Deny Baby Powder Cancer Warnings

In all but a few notable instances, cosmetics industry executives have categorically argued against the need for a talcum powder cancer warning on product labels. This comes as no surprise when the FDA has issued no such baby powder warning and companies stand to profit off the sales of baby powder. When data surfaced in 1971 regarding the talcum powder ovarian cancer link, Johnson & Johnson's medical director at the time, Dr. G.Y. Hildick-Smith, claimed that perineal talc use was safe. In 2013, when Johnson & Johnson lost the first baby powder lawsuit, a lawyer representing the company conceded that company executives had known of the talcum powder cancer risk for several decades yet deemed the risk insubstantial and so chose not to add a baby powder ovarian cancer warning to product labels. One notable deviation from this opinion was in 2002 when Edward Kavanaugh, then the president of the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, stated that research had proven talc to be dangerous to women when used for perineal dusting. This is as close to a baby powder cancer warning as has been issued among the industry.

American cosmetics regulators have never issued a talcum powder cancer warning or regulated Johnson & Johnson's marketing body powders and baby powders that contain talc, despite many appeals from medical experts and advocacy groups. In 1993, the Acting Associate Commissioner for Legislative Affairs of the Department of Health and Human Services conceded that numerous studies had found a link between routine talcum powder application and an increased incidence of ovarian cancer. Following this admission, the Commissioner noted that the FDA was, surprisingly, "not considering to ban, restrict or require a warning statement on the label of talc containing products," and thus a baby powder ovarian cancer warning has never been adopted. 

A series of Citizen Petitions have been submitted to the FDA to issue a talcum powder cancer warning, and each time, federal regulators have denied the need for a baby powder warning for consumers. During 1994, the Cancer Prevention Coalition urged the FDA to issue a baby powder ovarian cancer warning so that female consumers would be aware of the risks associated with talcum powder. And again in 2008, a large coalition of groups led by the Cancer Prevention Coalition submitted a petition requesting an ovarian cancer warning to be printed on talc products. The request went unacknowledged.

The consequences of failing to issue a baby powder ovarian cancer warning are significant, warn ovarian cancer experts. One such epidemiologist, Dr. Daniel Cramer of Harvard University, suggests that as many as 10,000 women each year develop talcum powder ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a serious disease that causes undue suffering and took a projected 14,000 lives in the United States during 2013. In his book "Toxic Beauty", Dr. Samuel Epstein, a leading advocate for an FDA baby powder cancer warning, writes, "Unbelievably, the FDA has recklessly failed to protect us from toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal-care products for at least six decades." Today many organizations including state departments of health and cancer research agencies recommend using cornstarch-based powders in place of talc baby powder and body powder.


Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits

Women who use baby powder for feminine hygiene are at risk for developing ovarian cancer. See if you may be entitled to compensation by filing a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.

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Baby Powder Ovarian Cancer Warnings

Research shows that ovarian cancer is caused by dusting with talcum powder. J&J officials continue to deny the scientific facts, and baby powder cancer victims are winning lawsuits for false advertising and fraud. Read talcum powder cancer warnings here.

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Find an Attorney for Talcum Powder Lawsuits

If you or a loved one has suffered from ovarian cancer, you may be eligible for compensation through a talcum powder cancer lawsuit.  Talcum powder ovarian cancer lawyers are providing free case reviews for national baby powder claims.

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