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Shezad Malik MD JD
Shezad Malik MD JD
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J&J Talcum Powder under fire for Ovarian Cancer

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Hot on the heels of two back to back stunning jury verdicts for its of Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower-to-Shower and other similar products,  Johnson and Johnson (J&J) continues to deny any liability. Many in the medical industry have suspected for decades that the use of talcum powder is related to the development of cancer in the reproductive organs.

Johnson Talcum Powder laawsuits

Talcum Powder use linked to deadly Ovarian Cancer in women.

Medical studies have failed to prove talc is safe. There is evidence that talc travels through the vagina and into the fallopian tubes, thereby increasing the chances of developing ovarian cancer. The first study linking talc and cancer was conducted in 1971. Since then companies have failed to warn consumers of its potential risks. Some people believe manufacturers of talc products should be held accountable for not warning consumers.

In one recent lawsuit, J&J was ordered to pay $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer after using the company’s Baby Powder and other feminine hygiene products containing talc. The St. Louis jury awarded the family $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages.

Earlier in May, the St. Louis jury awarded $55 million to Gloria Ristesund, after finding that J&J recklessly disregarded the health and safety of women who used the company’s baby and body powders for feminine hygiene purposes. Ristesund developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for years, for female hygiene.

In the two cases that reached jury verdicts, company documents were presented that suggested J&J was aware of the potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer since the 1970s. Also in the 1990’s, some documents indicate that the company specifically targeted sales towards women who were high users of talcum powder, without ever warning them of the possible cancer risks. The company developed an advertising program to specifically target women of Hispanic and African American origins.

The baby powder trials revealed an internal memo from Johnson & Johnson’s medical consultant in which the consultant said “anybody who denies” the risk of using hygienic talc and ovarian cancer is “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”

Thousands of Talcum Powder Cancer cases pending

There are 2,000 other Johnson’s Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower ovarian cancer lawsuits pending in courts throughout the U.S., and according to experts, there are thousands of cancer claims waiting to be filed, as the public learn about the link between talc powder and ovarian cancer.

Although there is some conflicting research, most published studies suggest that feminine hygiene products containing talc are associated with ovarian cancer.  At least one study found particles of talc at the center of ovarian tumors. In face of the medical science demonstrating a cancer link, J&J refuses to provide warnings for women about the link between talc and ovarian cancer.

It appears that ovarian cancer risks increases by 30–60 percent when the talcum powder enters the ovaries through the external genitalia after being applied on sanitary napkins, condoms, and other birth control devices.

It is still unknown exactly how talcum powder increases the risk of cancer, but it has been suggested that chronic inflammation plays a substantial role in the development of cancer. If you or a love one has suffered from ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, don’t hesitate to contact our office.