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Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit

Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit

Talcum powder (talc) is an ingredient in baby powder and other cosmetics. When talc is used by adult women for genital hygiene, studies have found a 30% increased risk of ovarian cancer. In 2016, three trials in St. Louis ended in jury verdicts of $200 million.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting talcum powder induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

Talcum Powder Lawsuits Centralized in MDL

With over 2,000 baby powder lawsuits nationwide, judges have centralized all federal lawsuits involving Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower a Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2738) under U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the District New Jersey.

$200 Million Awarded in Talcum Powder Trials

  • $70 Million In October 2016, the 3rd trial in St. Louis ended in a $70 million award to a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder on her genitals for 45 years.
  • $55 million In May 2016, the 2nd trial in St. Louis awarded $55 million to a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for genital hygiene for nearly 40 years.
  •  $72 millionIn February 2016, the 1st trial over talcum powder in St. Louis ended in a $72 million jury award to the family of a woman from Alabama who died of ovarian cancer.

$13 Million Awarded in Talc Mesothelioma Lawsuit

In May 2015, Colgate-Palmolive Co. has been ordered to pay $13 million to a woman who was diagnosed with mesothelioma more than 40 years after she used “Cashmere Bouquet,” an asbestos-containing talcum powder cosmetic product. Researchers have linked asbestos in talcum powder to mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive type of lung cancer.

What is Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder (talc) is best-known as an ingredient in baby powder. It is also an ingredient in thousands of cosmetics, feminine hygiene products, contraceptives (condoms and diaphragms), deodorants, anti-chafing products, and more. Talcum is a silicate mineral comprised of magnesium, silicon, and dioxide. In its natural form, talcum also contains asbestos, a known human carcinogen. However, all consumer talcum products became asbestos-free in 1973.

Popular Talc Products

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Many women apply talcum powder to the genital region as a way to keep skin dry and reduce friction. The problem is that particles of talc can potentially enter the vagina and travel to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This could potentially cause inflammation and increase the risk of cancer.

The first study linking talcum powder and ovarian cancer was published in the 1970s, when researches who examined cancerous ovarian tissue discovered talc fibers. Since then, numerous studies have been published but experts do not agree that there is a causal connection between perineal talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

Studies Linking Talcum Powder and Cancer

  • Anticancer Research (2003) — Meta-analysis of 16 studies found a 33% increased risk of ovarian cancer from perineal talcum powder use, but no causal relationship.
  • Cancer Epidemiology (2008) — Harvard researchers compared 1,400 women with ovarian cancer to 1,800 health women and linked the use of talcum powder with a 36% increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Cancer Prevention Research (2013): Use of talcum powder in the genital area associated with a 20-30% increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Black Women Have Higher Risk of Cancer, Study Finds

In May 2016, Cancer Epidemiology published a study of black women who used talcum powder for genital hygiene. Compared to non-users, women who used talc had a 44% increased risk of ovarian cancer and the risk increased over time. Click here to read more.

What is the risk?

However, the American Cancer Society cautions that even if talcum powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer, the chances are still small:

“The average woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is about 1.4%, so even with a 30% increase, her lifetime risk would be about 1.8%. Still, talc is widely used in many products, so it is important to determine if the increased risk is real. Research in this area continues.”

Talcum Powder & Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer is the most common type of uterine cancer. In 2010, a study of around 66,000 women found a 24% increased risk of endometrial cancer among post-menopausal women who reported using talcum powder once a week. The study was published by Cancer Epidemiology in 2010.

Talcum Powder & Mesothelioma

Talc is a mineral that is very similar to asbestos and often found in the same mines. Before the 1970s, it was not uncommon for cosmetic products containing talcum powder to also contain tiny amounts of asbestos. When consumers used these powders, they may have inhaled asbestos. Unfortunately, asbestos is extremely irritating to tissues in the throat and lungs. Over time (sometimes up to 40 years later) the irritated tissues can become cancerous and cause mesothelioma.

Over 1,200 Talc Cancer Lawsuits Filed Against J&J

About 1,200 lawsuits involving ovarian cancer are pending against J&J, primarily in Missouri and New Jersey state courts. Some involve conspiracy claims that the cancer risks of talc were intentionally concealed. In December 2015, about 100 lawsuits were centralized in New Jersey. Lawsuits involving another 250 women with ovarian cancer are also pending in a “mass-tort” in St. Louis, Missouri. Several wrongful death lawsuits have been filed recently, including one by a man in Los Angeles.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed in Missouri

In May 2014, J&J was hit with a class action lawsuit on behalf of Missouri residents who purchased baby powder in the last five years. Plaintiffs Denis Mikhlin and Erin Hoffman allege that the company failed to warn about the potential risk of ovarian cancer in women who use baby powder daily in the genital area.

Hundreds of Lawsuits Filed After 1st Trial Ends in Loss for J&J

In October 2013, the first talcum powder lawsuit went to trial against Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiff, 56 year-old Deane Berg, used Shower to Shower for 30 years before developing ovarian cancer in 2006. No damages were awarded, but the jury agreed that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn Ms. Berg about the risk.

In June 2014, another woman with ovarian cancer filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiff says she started using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower as a form of feminine hygiene in 1992. In March 2012, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. By June 2014, about 700 women who used talcum powder and developed ovarian cancer had filed lawsuits.

Do I have a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting talcum powder induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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