Studies for years have linked the regular use of talcum powder to a greater risk of ovarian cancer.
In 2016, about 1,400 women filed product liability lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Baby Powder and other cosmetic products that contain the mineral. Juries awarded multi-million dollar awards given to two women who alleged their use of talcum products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
The jury, which found the company was negligent for not disclosing the potential cancer risk on its product packaging, awarded $55 million in May 2016 to a St. Louis woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. The same court in February 2016 awarded $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer.
It was determined the company was negligent because there was no warning label on products advising consumers of the potential risks involved with their talcum powder products.
The first class-action lawsuit was filed in 2014 alleging that the talcum powder produced by several large companies– Johnson & Johnson, Gold Bond, and Avon among others –caused ovarian cancer.
Talcum powder absorbs moisture, helps reduce friction and can help eliminate odor, but many women who regularly use products containing talc in the genital area are at a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.
One medical study concluded that women who regularly used talcum products that came into contact with their reproductive systems had a 30 percent greater chance of developing ovarian cancer. Data from a 2015 Nurse's Health Study suggested the percentage could be even greater—concluding that use of talcum powder could increase a woman's risk of developing one specific type of ovarian cancer by as much as 40 percent.It's believed that Johnson & Johnson has been aware of the potential for dangerous side effects such as ovarian tumors and cancer for some time, but did not disclose the risk to consumers.
Johnson & Johnson has indicated it will appeal the rulings. Lawsuits against Gold Bond, Avon, and other companies are still pending.
If you or someone you love were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder or another talc-related product, be sure to save those products and their packaging information and call the legal professionals at Edgar Snyder & Associates.
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