Lawsuits claiming that talc-based products have caused ovarian cancer in women who use them have been on the rise in recent years. According to research, women who use talcum powder for personal hygiene have a significantly higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than those who do not. Despite this risk, however, talcum powder products are still on the market. Even more disturbing is new evidence that manufacturers of talc-based products, such as Johnson & Johnson, may have known about the risk for decades.
The United States vs. Europe
In Europe, talc is banned from personal care products. In the United States, however, manufacturers are permitted to add minimal amounts of ingredients to personal care products with limited safety testing. In some cases, no safety testing is required at all. The difference between the US approach and that of the EU is night and day. Laws in the EU state that “chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects simply don’t belong in cosmetics.” To more clearly illustrate the difference, consider this: The EU has banned more than 1,300 potentially toxic chemicals from personal care products while the US has only banned 11. If you have been harmed by a dangerous product, contact a Boston injury lawyer today.
The Link Between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
In 2013, the journal Cancer Prevention Research published a study on the risk of talcum powder use. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital study reviewed data from nearly 2,000 women. Their results showed an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer of up to 30 percent for women who used talc-based products for personal hygiene. According to research, when used for personal hygiene, talc minerals can travel through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. If the particles become lodged in the ovaries, they can irritate the tissue, resulting in inflammation which can, in turn, become tumorous.
Large Awards in Wrongful Death and Product Liability Lawsuits
After using Johnson & Johnson baby powder for 35 years, Jacqueline Fox was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Last year, the pharmaceutical giant was ordered to pay $72 million for the wrongful death of the victim. Although Fox passed away a few months before the trial began, she expressed her desire to warn other women of the dangers of talcum powder. Another victim, Gloria Ristesund, was awarded $55 million last year for her talcum powder liability claim. Ristesund claimed that she used baby powder and Shower to Shower for more than three decades before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. If you have been injured by a defective product, contact a MA injury lawyer today.
Despite all of the above, the FDA claims there is insufficient evidence to support the link between talc and ovarian cancer. As such, the agency refuses to label talc-based products as carcinogens even though they agreed that talc has a similar behavior pattern as asbestos. Continue reading