Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits - TalcumPowder.org

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Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

Talcum Powder, often known as baby powder, is a common health and beauty aid that has been available on the market since 1896. Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower have been marketed as a safe health care product to help keep your skin dry.

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined from the ground and later processed into powder form. During the refining process, naturally occurring asbestos is removed from the talc, essentially turning it into talcum powder. Prior to 1970, the asbestos was left in the talc. At that time the Food and Drug Administration required that the asbestos be removed from the talc for consumer use.

Talc powder has been marketed to treat skin problems for over 120 years. Targeted for women who wanted to stay feeling fresh and as a way to prevent diaper rash and sweating in babies, talcum powder has been marketed as a safe health and beauty product. However, as early as 1930, there have been medical studies conducted showing that using talcum powder increases the risk for cancer.

More recent medical studies, starting with the 1971 study showing that 75 percent of all cancerous ovarian tumors contained talc powder, and ending with the 2011 study showing that women who use talcum powder in their genital region have a 400 percent increased risk of ovarian and cervical cancers, show that women have been misled about the safety of this product.

At this time there have been two major settlements concerning talc use and cancer. There have been thousands of lawsuits filed against Johnson and Johnson since the beginning of 2016.

Timeline of Important Dates Regarding Talcum Powder


The first scientific studies were conducted on the safety of talc as a health and beauty product. The findings in these studies showed an increased risk of cancer. Later, however, it was attributed to the asbestos in the talc and not the mineral itself.


Large study conducted on cancerous ovarian cysts reveal that over 75 percent of these cysts contain talc particles.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all talc products are asbestos free.


Researchers publish in the Journal of Toxicology that there should be regulations made concerning the use of talc as a health and beauty product because of its potential to cause cancer.


Harvard researchers publish in the Harvard Medical Journal that women who use talc around their genital area have a 92 percent higher risk for developing ovarian cancer.


A John Hopkins Study shows that women who place talcum powder on their sanitary pads had a 379 percent increased chance of developing ovarian cancer.


The U.S. National Toxicology Program determines that talc causes tumors in animals, even without asbestos present. Lists it as a dangerous substance.


The Cancer Prevention Collation (CPC) contacts Johnson and Johnson and pleads with them to issue a national recall of all talc products based on facts from several recent studies linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer. Johnson and Johnson declines.


The Anti-Cancer Research Journal publishes a collective of studies that show a direct connection between the use of talc in the genital region and the onset of ovarian cancer.


The World Health Organization (WHO) issues a statement that talc used in the genital region is a human carcinogen.


The first lawsuit is filed against Johnson and Johnson for ovarian cancer caused by their talc products.


A consumer fraud class action lawsuit is filed against Johnson and Johnson for their failure to disclose the risks associated with the use of their talc powder products.


Additional personal cases are filed against Johnson and Johnson for the onset of ovarian cancer.


Two cases are awarded multi-million dollar settlements based on the evidence presented at these trials.

Side Effects Associated With Talcum Powder

Talc has been marketed as a safe product with only one warning. The back of the canister states to avoid inhalation of this product. Babies are at highest risk for developing problems associated with inhaling talc. These problems could include wheezing, coughing, and lung irritation known as talcosis. Long term exposure to inhaling talc can lead to the onset of asthma or pneumonia.

Additional side effects, although not contained in the warning label, include:

  • Increased risk of ovarian cancer
  • Possible link to cervical cancer
  • Possible link to uterine cancer