A South Dakota jury has a woman’s longtime use of Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum contributed to her ovarian cancer. The woman’s lawsuit claimed the consumer health care giant knew of the ovarian cancer risks associated with its talcum-containing products but failed to warn consumers.
Deane Berg was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. She says she used the company’s talcum-based products, including Shower to Shower body powder, for hygiene purposes for about 30 years. Three different doctors examined Deane’s cancerous tissue with a scanning electron microscope and found talc. It was their conclusion that the talc came from the body powder the woman used.
Daniel Cramer with Harvard University was one of the doctors who examined Deane’s tissue. Dr. Cramer has studied the link between talc and cancer for three decades. He said that talc likely is to blame for as many as 10,000 cases of ovarian cancer each year.
Talc is a mineral mostly made up of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talcum powder, made from talc, is used to absorb moisture and is widely used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and adult body and facial powder.
In its natural form, some talc may contain asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs. The American Cancer Society reports that researchers have also raised concerns whether talcum powder used regularly in the genital area increases the risk of women developing ovarian cancer if the powder particles were to travel through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovary.
Deane’s attorneys called for Johnson & Johnson to add warnings to the labels of its talc-containing products. However, the health care company says warning consumers of this risk is unnecessary.
Source: Argus Leader