With all the news on talcum powder lawsuits recently, basic information on talcum powder is lost in the shuffle. If you believe someone you love may have been affected by talcum powder, read on to see what can be done to help.

What is talcum powder?

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral found in certain rocks with exceptional moisture absorbing properties. It is typically ground into a powder and included in cosmetic products to absorb moisture, eliminate odor, and prevent rashes. One of the most common uses of talc is in the form of talcum or baby powder, which many women use in their underwear or on their genitals to prevent odor. Most talcum and baby powders consist of 99% talc, though some baby powders are made up of cornstarch for its similar moisture absorbing properties.

Does talcum powder cause cancer?

Johnson and Johnson (one of the largest talcum powder manufacturers) has consistently claimed that their products are safe. However, medical studies since 1971 have shown that women who consistently use talcum powder on their genitals are 33 to 44 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer. When talcum powder is used in the genital region, talc particles can travel through the vagina and into a woman’s uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

What is being done about it?

After learning about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, over 1,200 women have filed lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson. They claim that the company knew about talcum powder’s connection to ovarian cancer and failed to warm them about the risk. In addition to recent medical research that strengthens the connection between talcum powder and cancer, a 1997 company memo in which Johnson and Johnson was clearly warned of talc’s link to cancer further substantiates their claims. Johnson and Johnson was also warned of talc’s carcinogenic properties when their talc supplier began including warning labels in 2006. Johnson and Johnson, however, continued to omit labels from their products.

Two women have successfully sued Johnson and Johnson for their negligence in warning consumers about talc’s connection to ovarian cancer. In February and May 2016, respectively, juries awarded the plaintiffs and their families $72 and $55 million for their injuries. Lawyers hope that these rulings, and the increased visibility around the issue, will encourage Johnson and Johnson to settle the remaining 1,200 in outstanding lawsuits.

What should you do if you or a loved one has used talcum powder?

The recent rulings against Johnson and Johnson have set a precedent that may allow more women to successfully seek financial compensation for their injuries caused by talcum powder.

If you’re a long-time user of talcum powder and have developed ovarian cancer, seek legal advice from from one of our helpful claim advisors at RightCounsel to learn more about talcum powder lawsuits.