Johnson & Johnson knew of the potential risk but thought that is was too low to justify placing warnings on their products.
When a person hears that they have cancer, it is always devastating news. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, it is scary and overwhelming.
However, for some patients the cancer may have been preventable. This is the case for many women who have used talcum powder for their hygiene routine for many years. According to recent studies, there is a possible link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder use. In fact, in July of 2018, a jury in Missouri ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay nearly $4.7 billion in damages to 22 ovarian cancer patients and their families who allege that the company’s talc-based products contain asbestos.
Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?
It is important to distinguish between talc that contains asbestos and talc that is asbestos-free.American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society goes on to state that talcum powder that has asbestos is typically accepted as being able to cause cancer when it is inhaled. However, the evidence concerning asbestos-free talc is not quite as clear.
There have been both lab studies and studies in people done to try to figure out if a substance or exposure causes cancer. Studies done on lab animals have had mixed results. Some animals exposed with asbestos-free talc showed a tumor formation, while others did not.
Studies in people have suggested that talcum powder may cause ovarian cancer if the powder particles were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary. Research in this area continues to be done.
Talcum Powder Case Results
For more than 40 years there have been suspicions that the use of talcum powder is related to the development of ovarian cancer. The first study linking the two was conducted in 1971 when researchers discovered that 75% of ovarian cancer tumors contained talc particles. Ten years later, a Harvard University researcher discovered a 30% increase in ovarian cancer in women who used talc-based powder on a regular basis. Then, in 1997, is was discovered that Johnson & Johnson knew of the potential risk but thought that is was too low to justify placing warnings on their products or discontinuing them altogether.
Over $5 billion has been awarded to ovarian cancer lawsuit plaintiffs but there are still more than 9,000 cases that have yet to be settled. These numbers are staggering.
Contact an Ovarian Cancer Lawyer
If you or someone you love was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you should contact our St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Lawyer immediately. Call us at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.