Baby powder is not just used for babies, and there are a growing number of lawsuits claiming that baby powder talc is to blame for ovarian cancer.
For years, women have been using baby powder for feminine hygiene. The primary ingredient in baby powder is talc, which is a mineral made up of silicon, magnesium and oxygen. Because of its ability to absorb moisture, talc is used to keep the skin dry and to prevent rashes -- hence its widespread use for infants.
However, research over the past 45 years has shown that talc can contribute to the development of ovarian cancer. A 1971 study of ovarian cancer patients discovered their ovarian tissues contained talc. When talc is used in the genital area, talc particles can travel to the ovaries through the vagina, causing inflammation that can lead to the development of cancer.
In June 2013, a study published in Cancer Prevention Research revealed an increased risk of 20-30% for women who use talcum powder for feminine hygiene. The study was based on data from eight research reports involving approximately 2,000 women.
In 2014, Johnson & Johnson became involved in class action lawsuits in California and Illinois regarding its two most popular talcum power products, Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. Plaintiffs contend that J&J knew of the risks associated with the use of talc and the link to ovarian cancer and failed to warn consumers.
In February 2016, a St. Louis, Missouri, jury awarded $72 million to the family of Jackie Fox, who died of ovarian cancer linked to the use of Johnson's Baby Powder. The award included $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Internal company documents introduced into evidence at trial showed that J&J knew of the link between talc and ovarian cancer yet continued to market it to women.
Showard Law Firm handles drug and medical device claims, including talc ovarian cancer claims. If you or a loved one have used talc and were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, contact us for a free consultation.