Recent studies have shown the connection between talcum powder, otherwise known as baby powder, and its link to ovarian cancer in women. Talcum powder, made from the mineral talc, is often used as a method of expelling vaginal odors and can be bought over the counter at most convenience stores and pharmacies. Talcum powder has recently been discovered to be a factor in the formation of ovarian cancer cells. Although there have been case studies conducted to support the linkage between talcum powder’s influence in the formation of ovarian cancer, the subject remains highly controversial. Patients who were asked if they had been exposed to the powder had already been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and were aware of the possible correlation between the talcum powder and their ovarian cancer. As a result, the patients’ opinions became bias when having to recall how long they had been using the powder. Although there are multiple claims about the extent talcum powder can influence the formation of ovarian cancer cells, two well renowned case studies are Fox v. Johnson & Johnson and a case study conducted by The Nurses’ Health Study.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson has recently been claimed “liable for negligence, conspiracy, and failure to warn women of the potential risk of using Baby Powder in the genital area”(Bloomberg Businessweek). Jacqueline Fox, a woman in her late fifties, was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. After being diagnosed with the disease, it was brought to her attention that her ovarian cancer could be connected to her usage of talc. Upon being interviewed, Fox had described her extensive usage of the powder and her previous exposer to talc, specifically baby powder. She described her exposure and usage of the powder as something she used every day. She claimed to have been exposed to the powder for the majority of her life, both as a child and an adult. She expressed to her representation how she applied the powder under the impression that the substance was completely safe to apply. By the end of the case, “the verdict, decided by a 10-2 vote, included $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages, more than Fox’s lawyers had recommended.”(Bloomberg Businessweek). As a result of this case, Johnson & Johnson has taken various measures to avoid and resolve future legal claims. In order to protect themselves in the future, Johnson & Johnson has run their own private investigations to research more about the linkage of their products containing talc and ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson ran these experiments and “has referred to research into the matter as inconclusive and never has put a warning notice or label on its talcum powder products” (Drugwatch).
Studies Relating to Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer
A specific case study was conducted by The Nurses’ Health Study and had been approved by the Human Research Committee at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA. Female nurses of the ages between 30-55 years old received questionnaires in the post mail, inquiring about personal information about their health situation and medical history, including those with a predisposition to cancer. After two years, questionnaires were sent again to continue the study. By the end of the case study the results “did not observe an overall association with ever use of talc and epithelial ovarian cancer” (Journal of National Cancer Institute). On the contrary, further studies have proven that there are active ingredients in talc that have been classified as carcinogenic, including asbestos. Most domestic talcum powder does not contain asbestos. However, Cancer Council NSW goes on to explain how “asbestos free talc, such as that found in modern talcum powder has been suggested to increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women who apply talcum powder regularly in the genital area.” This theory is supported with a continuation of this information. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified talcum powder as “as possibly carcinogenic to humans when applied to the genital area”. IARC is a highly creditable international organization lauded for their expertise on evaluating data relating to the discovery of carcinogenic materials and formation of cancer cells.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
Contact an experienced Clearwater, Florida personal injury attorney for help today. If you are a victim of the extended usage of talcum powder and believe its involvement has contributed to your diagnosis of ovarian cancer, you may want to seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can tell you whether your claim has merit and what steps to take to defend your rights. If you feel as though your interaction with talcum powder has helped cause your ovarian cancer, you should not delay in contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today. Our attorneys are committed to helping our clients stand up for their rights and we will always evaluate your case at no charge. Please contact our office in Clearwater, Florida today at (727) 451-6900 to discuss how we can help you.
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