Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Talcum powder lawsuits stem from the charge that manufacturers failed to warn consumers about the potential risks associated with products containing talc. Specifically, women diagnosed with ovarian cancer often believe that regular use of talcum baby powder as part of their personal hygiene routine led to the condition. They want compensation for what they perceive as deliberate corporate negligence.

As of March 2020, more than 19,000 lawsuits concerned with talcum body powder have been launched against Johnson & Johnson – maker of the well-known Johnson’s Baby Powder. A large victory for some ovarian cancer sufferers who commonly used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder came in June of this year. A Missouri appeals court ordered the company and a subsidiary to pay $2.1 billion in damages to these women.

Might you have a case, too? A lawyer can evaluate your situation to judge the merit of pursuing legal action.

Does Baby Powder Cause Cancer?

People generally assume that anything labeled as a product for babies should be safe for anyone to use without worry. Because of its pleasant smell and ability to reduce chaffing and absorb moisture, many women purchase baby powder for use on their own genital region and surrounding area or to dust on sanitary pads.

According to the American Cancer Society, “It has been suggested that talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary.” The organization notes research on the possible link between talc-containing products and cancer have yielded mixed findings.

Tainted Baby Powder

While talc gets called into question in baby powder lawsuits, the actual culprit likely could be asbestos. As the New York Times succinctly explains, “Talc and asbestos are natural minerals, and their underground deposits develop under similar geological conditions. As a result, veins of asbestos may crisscross talc deposits in mines.”

According to the FDA, “Questions about the potential contamination of talc with asbestos have been raised since the 1970s.” Thus, companies for the past 50 years or so should have made certain the talc obtained for their products was free from that carcinogen.

Did Johnson & Johnson make such efforts? Internal memos suggest that since the 1960s the company had concerns about the possibility of dangerous asbestos contamination in the talc used for its baby powder but was reluctant to take action because of huge sale numbers. The court in June concluded, “A reasonable inference from all this evidence is that, motivated by profits, defendants disregarded the safety of consumers despite their knowledge the talc in their products caused ovarian cancer.” Johnson & Johnson argues its talc supply is free from asbestos and faulty testing methods are to blame.

Filing a Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have a history of using talcum-based baby powder may want to look into legal action. As cancers linked to asbestos can take a very long time to develop, you may have to think far back regarding your talcum powder usage.

Two other important things to note:

  1. Since the 1980s, baby powder often contains cornstarch rather than talc. These alternative products have not been deemed harmful.
  2. Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder is not the only talcum item under question. A qualified lawyer familiar with talcum-suspected cancer cases can help you determine if a hygiene product you used might have been thought to contain traces of asbestos.

Unsure where to start? Legal Help Services offers free evaluation of your talcum powder case. Legal professionals deal with intricacies on a daily basis and can guide you through the process to maximize the chances of success.