June 3, 2015 — Around 700 women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder products have filed lawsuits, according to FairWarning.
Talcum powder is a soft mineral that has been used in products like Johnson’s Baby Powder for more than 100 years. For most of that time, it was marketed as a wholesome product for babies and feminine hygiene.
The following video is an example of how it was marketed to women:
Unfortunately, studies dating back to the 1980s have suggested that woman who use talcum powder may have up to a 35% increased risk of ovarian cancer. Experts believe particles of talc can travel through a woman’s reproductive system and cause inflammation in the ovaries.
Investigators also cited at least 20 studies that demonstrated an increased rate of ovarian cancer for women using talc for hygiene purposes.
A spokesman for FairWarning talked to Public Radio International (PRI) and said:
“There are in the neighborhood of 700 [lawsuits,] most of them in St. Louis and in New Jersey where Johnson & Johnson is headquartered. But the numbers are still going up, so there probably will be more.”
One lawsuit went to trial in October 2013. The victim, Deane Berg, was not awarded compensation. However, the jury still found that Johnson & Johnson knew or should have known about the risk of ovarian cancer and should have warned women about the potential risks.
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