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Talcum Powder FAQ

Talcum Powder FAQ

In 2016, juries in St. Louis awarded $200 million to three women who got ovarian cancer after using baby powder for at least 35 years. Over 2,000 lawsuits have been filed by women who say Johnson & Johnson ignored decades of evidence linking talc and cancer.

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 has been 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 toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview
What is talcum powder?
What products contain talcum powder?
Does talcum powder contain asbestos?
Can talcum powder get into my ovaries?

Ovarian Cancer
How do I know if talcum powder caused my cancer?
What is my risk of ovarian cancer?
What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
What studies have linked talcum powder and ovarian cancer?
What are the dangers of ovarian cancer?

Other Types of Cancer
What do experts say?
Can talcum powder cause endometrial cancer?
Can talcum powder cause lung cancer?
Have mesothelioma lawsuits been filed?

Talcum Powder Lawsuits
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
Have lawsuits been filed?
How much money has been awarded?
How much does it cost to file a lawsuit?
Has a class action lawsuit been filed?
Have lawsuits been centralized?
Do I have a talcum powder lawsuit?

What is talcum powder?

Talcum powder is made from talc, an extremely soft mineral that occurs naturally and is mined from the earth. It is made of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, talc absorbs moisture and cuts down on friction.

What products contain talcum powder?

Talcum powder is used in tens of thousands of consumer products, cosmetics, surgical gloves, foods, contraceptives, antacids, medications, flea and tick powders, deodorants, chalk, crayons, soap, paint, ceramics, paper, insulating materials, asphalt filler, textiles, and more.

Lawsuits have been filed by people who developed with mesothelioma (lung cancer) or ovarian cancer after using the following products:

Does talcum powder contain asbestos?

Talc and asbestos are silicate minerals that are often found in close proximity in the earth. Before the 1970s, talcum powder products were frequently contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen. Cosmetic products are now asbestos-free, but studies continue to associate talc and cancer.

Can talcum powder get into my ovaries?

Yes. Tiny particles of talc can be absorbed into the vagina and travel through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. Experts know this is possible because studies in the 1970s found particles of talc in tissue samples from the ovaries of women with cancer. When talc particles get into the ovaries, they can cause irritation and inflammation.

How do I know if talcum powder caused my cancer?

Talc does not break down and it can remain embedded in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic lymph nodes for years. When you are being treated for ovarian cancer, tissue will be removed from the ovaries. A pathologist may find talc fibers when looking at these tissue samples under a microscope. If you decide to file a lawsuit, pathology reports may become important evidence for your case.

What is my risk of ovarian cancer?

The average woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is about 1.4% in the United States. The use of talc may increase this risk by 20-30% to about 1.8%. Other risk-factors include age, obesity, using fertility drugs like Clomid, estrogen therapy, and family history.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

  • vaginal bleeding
  • abdominal bloating, pressure, and pain
  • feeling abnormally full after eating
  • trouble eating
  • increased urination and urge to urinate
  • fatigue
  • indigestion and heartburn
  • constipation
  • back pain
  • changes in body weight or gastrointestinal symptoms
  • menstrual irregularities
  • painful intercourse

What studies have linked talcum powder and ovarian cancer?

At least 16 case-controlled studies have associated genital talc powder dusting and ovarian cancer since the 1980s. In 2003, Anticancer Research published a a meta-analysis of these studies and found a 33% increased risk of ovarian cancer.

What are the dangers of ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a deadly disease that causes about 14,000 deaths every year. It does not cause symptoms in the early stages, which can delay diagnosis until it is hard to treat. By the time symptoms become obvious, the cancer has often spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. Loss of fertility and menopause occur when the ovaries are removed.

What do experts say?

In 2010, the cancer research agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that “perineal use of talc-based body powder is possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The American Cancer Society says asbestos-contaminated talcum powder is “generally accepted as being able to cause cancer.” However, evidence about asbestos-free talc is less clear, with some studies reporting a slightly increased risk and others finding no risk.

Can talcum powder cause endometrial cancer?

In 2010, Cancer Epidemiology published a study that found a 24% increased risk of epithelial cancer in post-menopausal women who used talcum powder genitally at least once a week. Endometrial cancer is the most common type of uterine cancer. Conclusions were based on data from about 66,000 women and 600 cases of endometrial cancer between 1982 and 2004.

Can talcum powder cause lung cancer?

It was not until 1973 that federal law banned asbestos in talcum powder. People who breathe asbestos after routinely dusting themselves with talcum powder can develop mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive type of lung cancer. Under a microscope, asbestos looks like tiny bundles of needles. In the lungs, it causes severe irritation and inflammation that can lead to cancer.

Have mesothelioma lawsuits been filed?

Yes. In May 2015, a jury awarded $13 million to the family of Judith Winkel, a woman with mesothelioma who used Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder from 1961-1976. The case is Judith and John Winkel v. Calavaras Asbestos Ltd., et al., No. BC549253, California Superior Court (Los Angeles).

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

Every state has a “statute of limitations,” which is a time-limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit. In some states, the limit is only one year from the time of your injury. Other states allow up to six years. It is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as you think you have a case.

Have lawsuits been filed?

Yes. The first lawsuit was filed by a woman from South Dakota named Deane Berg. In November 2013, a jury found Johnson & Johnson guilty of failing to warn her about the risk of ovarian cancer. About 2,000 lawsuits were filed as of October 2016.

How much money has been awarded?

In October 2016, the 3rd trial in St. Louis ended in a $70 million jury award to a woman from California. She was diagnosed with Stage-4 ovarian cancer in 2012 after using Johnson’s Baby Powder for 45 years.

In May 2016, the 2nd trial in St. Louis ended in a $55 million jury award to a woman from South Dakota who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder for nearly 40 years.

In February 2016, the 1st trial in St. Louis ended in a $72 million jury award to the family of Jacqueline Fox, a black woman from Alabama who died of ovarian cancer after using baby powder for 35 years.

How much does it cost to file a lawsuit?

We represent our clients on a contingency-fee basis, meaning there are no legal fees unless we win compensation in your case.

Has a class action lawsuit been filed?

Yes. Class actions have been filed in Missouri, California, and other states, but they are not designed to maximize compensation for women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Instead, they are seeking refunds on behalf of everyone who purchased baby powder without knowing about the risk of cancer.

Have individual lawsuits been centralized?

Yes. Over 2,000 women have already filed lawsuits, but not as part of a class action. Instead, they are individual lawsuits that have been centralized. Over 250 cases are centralized at the state level in a “mass-tort” in St. Louis. Another 220 cases are centralized at the state level in New Jersey.

In October 2016, judges 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.

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 has been 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 toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.

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