Talcum powder is generally considered safe and thus widely used in body and face powders. But about 700 lawsuits have been filed against makers of talc-containing products claiming genital use of talcum powder for personal hygiene can cause ovarian cancer. “There probably will be more,” FairWarning reporter Myron Levin told Public Radio International.
An increasing number of lawsuits name consumer health care giant Johnson & Johnson, who has sold Johnson’s Baby Powder for more than a century, and currently markets other brands including Shower to Shower. The lawsuits claim that studies dating back 30 years or more have drawn a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
Studies suggest that about 10 percent – or as many as 2,000 – of ovarian cancer cases diagnosed each year could be linked to genital use of talcum powder. Johnson & Johnson was even contacted by a researcher who alerted the company to the cancer risk with its talc-containing products and urged them to warn consumers, but the company refused.
The theory is that talc, when applied to the genitals, can travel up the uterus, through the fallopian tubes and into the ovaries where it can inflame tissue and trigger cancerous growth. In fact, during the first and only talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit to go to trial the plaintiff attorney brought evidence from three researchers who looked at the cancerous tissue removed from the plaintiff and found bits of talc. The woman claimed daily and long-term use of Johnson’s Shower to Shower caused her to develop ovarian cancer.
The jury found in her favor and agreed that the company should have warned consumers of this risk.
Source: The New Daily