Krystal Kim’s ovarian cancer was found by chance, during a minor surgery. She had no symptoms like bloating or pain. “That’s why it’s known as the silent killer,” she told The Philadelphia Tribune.
She underwent six rounds of chemotherapy before going into remission. When the cancer returned, she had a hysterectomy and had parts of her colon and intestines removed.
That’s when she randomly took a quiz on social media asking if she had ovarian cancer and had she ever used talcum powder on her genitals for personal hygiene. She said yes to both. Then she was contacted by attorneys who told her she may have a case. The lawyers sent her to a doctor who tested her lymph nodes and found asbestos.
“And that’s when I just broke down and cried, cause I’m like, ‘asbestos? Where’d that come from?’” she told the Tribune.
Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in construction materials. It is now banned in more than 60 countries and its use restricted in the United States. The microscopic fibers of asbestos can go airborne and be inhaled, which can lead to mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and abdomen.
Asbestos is mined from the earth in much the same fashion as – and often in close proximity to – talc. It was reasonable that if talc contained asbestos, and women used it on their genitals, the talc could travel up the vagina, through the fallopian tubes, and cause ovarian cancer.
Testing on Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder showed asbestos present in the powder. Internal documents showed the consumer health care giant was aware of asbestos in its talc but chose not to inform or warn the public or federal officials.
Kim became one of 22 women who sued Johnson & Johnson alleging its talc-containing products like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder were contaminated with asbestos and contributed to their ovarian cancer diagnoses. In July, a St. Louis jury found in the women’s favor and awarded them a total of $4.69 billion. In December, a judge denied the company’s motion to appeal.
Source: The Philadelphia Tribune