Talc is a clay mineral mined from underground deposits and composed of hydrated magnesium silicate. Refined talc—known as talcum powder—results in a soft, silky substance that is highly desirable for cosmetic products. Talcum powder’s absorbent properties makes it an ideal base for baby powder and makeup, such as lipstick, mascara, blush, foundation and eye shadow.
Despite its classification as a natural mineral, deposits of talc in the human body have been linked to several forms of cancers. Health professionals have reported that the presence of talc in the blood can spark an inflammatory response that leads to the abnormal growth of tumors and cells, while additional research reflects that talc deposits may contain unsafe levels of asbestos—a heat-resistant carcinogen also originating underground.
More than twenty studies over the last four decades have demonstrated a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. At least sixteen of these studies concluded that women who use talcum powder had a thirty-three percent (33%) higher risk of developing ovarian cancer when used for feminine hygiene purposes. Other consumers who were exposed to talcum powder containing asbestos have reported cases of mesothelioma—a terminal cancer affecting the lining of the lungs.
Johnson & Johnson® (J&J) is one of the largest manufacturers of talcum powder products, with millions of consumers purchasing J&J talcum powder worldwide each year. Tens of thousands of women have filed lawsuits against J&J asserting that their use of the company’s highly touted baby powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Plaintiffs claim the manufacturer has known about the possible adverse risks since 1971 but failed to warn consumers of the dangers associated with its products. To date, juries have awarded over $5 billion in damages to plaintiffs in J&J talc-related lawsuits.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer include, but are not limited to:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Difficulty eating
- Overactive bladder
- Excessive fatigue
- Consistent upset stomach
- Back pain
- Painful intercourse
- Menstrual changes
- Abdominal swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder use, please contact Slater Slater Schulman LLP for a free consultation by filling out the form on this page or by calling our office at (800) 251-6990