Talcum Powder Lawsuits on the Rise

Strong link to ovarian cancer

By Aaron Jophlin

Talcum powder. Families have used it for years for a variety of applications. It’s one of the most popular, over-the-counter powder products in the nation. It’s likely in your medicine cabinet right now, in the form of Johnson’s® Baby Powder, Shower to Shower®, or countless other brands. What many people don’t realize is that it is potentially life-threatening—especially for women. According to a recent article by Richard Smallteacher (CorpWatch Blog, April 4, 2016), Johnson & Johnson—one of the largest marketers of talcum powder—has been sued more than 1,200 times by women claiming to have developed ovarian cancer through the use of talcum powder products. And thanks to a number of recent victories in the U.S. court system, those numbers are likely going to climb in the months ahead.

Talcum powder lawsuits on the rise

What is talcum powder?

Talcum powder (hydrated magnesium silicate) is essentially a perfumed moisture absorber. It is a cosmetic product made from finely ground talc, a naturally soft mineral that can be found in soapstone. For all of its multiple purposes, talcum powder is often associated with baby care, as it helps reduce rashes. Women also have used it for decades to avoid chaffing between the thighs—not surprising, since companies like Johnson & Johnson have heavily targeted the female market, beginning in the ‘60s.

Test reveal scary side effects

The first signs of trouble for talcum powder emerged in the ‘70s, as scientists found a link to cancer in women—case studies showed that talc was deeply embedded into ovarian cancer. And despite companies such as Johnson & Johnson offering corn starch as an alternative, talc was still used, and preferred. That remains the case today. In 2014, for instance, Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder sales were pushing $374 million. During this time—spanning four decades—more and more women have been suffering from ovarian cancer that strongly suggests a direct link to talc. Daniel Cramer, a distinguished professor at Harvard University, estimates that talc contributes to 10,000 cases of ovarian cancer a year.

Women are winning cases against talcum powder companies

After Deane Berg won a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in 2013—a case she brought to trial in 2007—the floodgates have opened. In Berg’s case, talc was found in her ovaries, endometrium, and lymph nodes—all stemming from an estimated 8,000 applications of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum products. It is noteworthy that talc is already a banned product in Europe and the World Health Organization (WHO) says that talc is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” In spite of these warnings, Johnson & Johnson denies the claims and continues to make talcum products that are specifically marketed to women.

Do you have a talcum powder case?

If you have any suspicions you need to act. Now’s the time. The best way to take action is to contact a reputable class-action attorney as soon as possible. Oftentimes there are time limitations for such cases—if you fail to report the suspected offense within a given amount of time, you could miss your opportunity to seek financial retribution. If you or someone you know has been a victim of ovarian cancer that may be linked to talcum powder usage, please contact Bell Legal Group today. We want to hear your story.

Contact us today

843-546-2408 • aaron@edbelllaw.com