Baby Powder and Cancer: Is there a link?

Apr 15, 2016
by The Atkins & Markoff Team

Baby Powder and Cancer: Is there a link?

A number of personal care products such as baby powder use talcum as the main ingredient. Its strong absorbing properties and smooth texture make it an ideal substance for many women as an odor management/body care product. Unfortunately, its presence in these products has been the cause for many controversies involving safety. Many talcum-containing products have been found to be contaminated by asbestos. Due to its close proximity to asbestos deposits in soil, talc that is not refined sufficiently can contain asbestos fibers. Contaminated talcum can lead to serious respiratory problems such as lung cancer. Although, the use of baby powder on babies is highly discouraged, baby powder continues to be used widely by women in the US to manage personal hygiene. Interestingly, now that most popular brands of personal care products containing talcum are declared to be asbestos-free, manufacturers have been facing a big backlash from consumers for presence of carcinogens in their products

Recently, a jury in Missouri awarded $72 million in damages to the family of Jamie Fox, an ovarian cancer patient who died in October 2015. Her family alleged that Fox had gotten cancer due to the extensive use of the talcum powder produced by Johnson and Johnson (J&J). J&J has experienced similar penalties in 2013, when a federal jury found that talcum made by J&J did in fact contribute to ovarian cancer in a woman from South Dakota. Thereafter, more than 1000 cases have been filed against J&J nationwide, with most women claiming that J&J has not been honest about the safety of its products (containing talcum). J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower are the two main products that have been highlighted within the talcum powder lawsuits. This does not come as a surprise as baby powder is estimated to be an almost $19 million market (in the US) and about 19% of households in the US use J&J products.

Relationship between Baby Powder (or Talcum powder) and Ovarian cancer

The connection between Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder and ovarian cancer dates back to 1971. During the early 1970s, a study of ovarian cancer patients revealed talc particles in their ovarian tissues. This raised lots of questions about the relationship between talcum and ovarian cancer. More recently, a possible link between asbestos-free talcum powder and ovarian cancer has been acknowledged by the American Cancer Society. Furthermore, the American Association for Cancer Research published a study that showed how certain gene types could be more prone to cancerous growth of cells in the ovaries when exposed to talcum powder. Various other studies have pointed towards a strong positive association between the two.

If you think your ovarian health or a loved one’s health has been affected by the use of any kind of talcum based product (especially a baby powder), you should contact a dangerous drug lawyer in Oklahoma to review your case. Any kind of cancer or other dangerous health condition can cost you more than just your health; your personal and professional life can be affected profoundly. Atkins and Markoff attorneys have represented people on a wide range of dangerous drugs, product liability and personal injury cases in Oklahoma and have what it takes to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your health, income lost and personal distress endured. Contact our experienced attorneys today for a consultation!