Talcum powder is composed of talc. Talc is a naturally occurring, soft mineral. In powder form, talc absorbs moisture and reduces friction.
Because of talc’s properties, it has been used in consumer products to keep skin dry and prevent irritation. Talcum powder has been used in many consumer products, including cosmetics, foot powders, deodorant powders, baby powders and adult body powders. To learn more about how talcum powder is used and how it can cause injuries, call a seasoned product liability attorney as soon as possible. Filing a talcum powder lawsuit in Huntsville could be much easier with a skilled attorney from our firm.
Talcum Powder and Feminine Products
Over the years, many women have used talcum powder products for both personal hygiene and cosmetics. Talcum powder became a common ingredient in feminine hygiene products. Yet, Talcum powder’s use as a feminine hygiene product may have placed many women at risk of serious personal injury.
Talcum Powder and Cancer Risks
For decades, researchers in the medical industry have suspected a relationship between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer in the female reproductive system. Studies as early as 1971 suggested the relationship between talcum powder and cancer. Research even found talcum embedded in a substantial percentage of ovarian tumors studied.
Although numerous studies in the years since 1971 indicated an increased risk between female talcum powder use and ovarian cancer, product manufacturers disregarded the research as not conclusive. Talcum powder product manufacturers never warned of these serious issues. Instead, talcum powder manufacturers continued to market their products as safe and effective.
In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted “perineal use of talc-based baby powder is possibly carcinogenic to humans.” In June 2013, the journal Cancer Prevention Research published a study indicating women who use talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product may have a 20%-30% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
The Danger of Ovarian Cancer
In its early stages, ovarian cancer may not cause symptoms. When the patient does have early symptoms, they are easy to overlook because of their similarity to other common illnesses. Because many women experience no clear early warning signs, a diagnosis may be delayed. Ovarian cancer has often metastasized, or spread, to other parts of the body by the time it is discovered.
In February 2016, a Missouri jury heard the wrongful death case of Jacqueline Fox. Jacqueline was from Alabama. She had used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-based baby powder for 35 years. Jacqueline died of ovarian cancer. During the trial, jurors saw an internal company memo acknowledging the risk of cancer from talcum powder. The jury assessed $72 Million dollars as a verdict. Most of the verdict consisted of punitive damages – punishment for Johnson & Johnson’s wrongful conduct.
In May 2016 another woman who had used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for almost 40 years sued the company after developing ovarian cancer. That trial resulted in a $55 Million dollar verdict. Again, much of the verdict consisted of punitive damages.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed by women claiming personal injury. Many of these lawsuits are centralized before state courts in Missouri and New Jersey. In October 2016, the other cases filed in Federal Courts were centralized before a District Court Judge in the Federal District Court of New Jersey.
Helping Injured Consumers
The Blackwell Law Firm is actively representing injured Alabama consumers in a number of product liability cases centralized before the Federal Courts. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you believe it may have been caused by talcum powder, we are available for a free and confidential consultation. Please feel free to contact us to talk about potentially filing a talcum powder lawsuit in Huntsville.