Cases

Talcum Powder

Images of smiling women and bare-bottomed babies have graced ads for talcum powder for close to a century. But even if you’ve used a common household hygiene product for years doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Talcum powder has been promoted for decades by companies claiming that it helps eliminate friction, is gentle on the skin and provides a clean, pleasant scent. The powder is commonly used by mothers to reduce babies’ diaper rashes and by women in general as a personal hygiene product. However, a growing number of studies have found that the use of talcum powder in the genital area may increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.

June 2, 2016

Case Update:  Study Finds Association between Body Powder Use and Ovarian Cancer in African-Americans

A researcher with the University of Virginia released a study on May 12, 2016 which found regular use of talc powder by African-American women placed them at greater risk for developing ovarian cancer. Read more.

Contact a Talcum Powder Lawyer

If you or someone you know has used talcum powder around the perineum, or genital area, and has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may have a talcum powder claim. Please contact medical attorney Carmen Scott by email or call 1.800.768.4026.

Female Talcum Powder Uses

Talcum PowderTalcum powder is typically marketed as “talc powder,” “baby powder” or “body powder” and contains the mineral talc. Johnson & Johnson sold the powder brand Shower to Shower in 2012 to Valeant. Although it is often used by women as part of their daily hygiene regimen, the use of talcum powder on the genitals and perineal area, either through direct application or by applying it to sanitary napkins, has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Studies have found that the powder may travel into the genital tract, causing inflammation. Frequent, long-term use of talc powder in these areas allegedly doubles or triples the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Links

In 2013, Cancer Prevention Research published “Genital powder use and risk of ovarian cancer: a pooled analysis of 8,525 cases and 9,859 controls,” which found that “genital powder use was associated with a modest increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer relative to women who never used powder.”

A 2010 study conducted by Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Margaret Gates and others found a positive association among postmenopausal women where “ever use of talcum powder was associated with a 21% increase in risk of endometrial cancer, while regular use was associated with a 24% increase in risk.”

In 2003, an analysis of 16 observational studies on the association between perineal talcum powder use and ovarian cancer found “a statistically significant result suggesting a 33% increased risk of ovarian cancer with perineal talc use.”

The American Cancer Society reports that the risk of ovarian cancer may be increased with perineal talcum powder use and that research continues to determine the magnitude of the increased risk.  Additionally, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, classifies the perineal use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Read More

Reuters (May 30, 2014): Johnson & Johnson hides baby powder’s link to cancer, suit says 

UK Daily Mail (June 18, 2013): Women who regularly use talcum powder increase their risk of ovarian cancer by 24% 

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