Medical Drugs | Asbestos Exposure

Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Connect with an attorney

Active case

A growing body of research has found that using products containing talcum powder, such as baby powder, in the genital area may increase a person’s risk of developing ovarian cancer and other diseases. If you or a loved one have suffered a health condition linked to using products with talc, you may be eligible to file a talcum powder lawsuit.

Female Talcum Powder Uses

Talc is a naturally-occurring mineral mined from the earth. It is refined and milled to create talcum powder products, including talc powder, baby powder or body powder. These products may be used by people 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.

Talcum powder applied in the genital area may travel through the genital tract to the ovaries, causing inflammation. One report analyzed 31 other studies, which is called a meta-analysis. This report found talc use increased ovarian cancer risk by about 30% – 60%.

Talcum powder and ovarian cancer links

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), classifies the perineal use of talc-based body powder as possibly carcinogenic to humans. The IARC’s classification was influenced by years of research on the increased risk of ovarian cancer for people who apply talcum powder to sanitary napkins and directly to their genitals.

More studies pointing to the potential increased cancer risk from the use of talcum powder products include:

  • 2019 study examines talc link to cancer: In 2019, Elsevier Inc. published a systematic review of the evidence linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer. This study concluded that “talc is a possible cause of cancer in humans based on the totality of evidence from multiple observational studies.”
  • 2018 studies find increase in ovarian cancer risk: In 2018, two meta-analyses were published. These meta-analyses concluded that the use of talcum products increased the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • 2018 studies explore talc effects: In 2018, a study found that talc affects the “redox state” in human ovarian cells, a known biological pathway to cause cancer. The scientists concluded that this study demonstrated how talc causes ovarian cancer.
  • 2016 study links talc use to greater ovarian cancer risk in African-American women: In 2016, a researcher with the University of Virginia studied the risk of cancer from talc use in African-American women specifically. Prior data had found high levels of talcum powder use among this group. Like other studies, it confirmed using talc in the genital area increases ovarian cancer risk.

Dozens of other studies, analyses and meta-analyses have found similar results. Talcum powder use is linked to ovarian cancer, and the more a person uses it, the more their risk increases.

Talcum powder and asbestos

Studies on how exactly talcum powder products lead to cancer are still ongoing. Some studies have found that talc affects cells during their re-oxygenation state. Other studies have suggested that asbestos-contamination in talc products could lead to cancer in some people.

One 2020 study linked 75 cases of mesothelioma cancer to exposure to talcum powder contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen. Natural asbestos deposits may occur near talc, which is the mineral used for talcum powder. The physical proximity between asbestos and talc means contamination is possible.

Other studies have shown that talcum powder products are a danger whether or not they are contaminated with asbestos. In the early 1990s, the United States National Toxicology Program published a study on the toxicity of non-asbestos form talc. The study found talc is carcinogenic, even without asbestos fibers present.

Read more on the dangers of asbestos-contaminated talc.

Who may be eligible to file a talcum powder lawsuit?

You may be eligible to bring a personal injury lawsuit against talcum powder product makers for harm you experienced from use of their products. Common defendants in talcum powder product cases are:

  • Johnson & Johnson and various subsidiaries: Manufacturers and distributors of several talc-containing products.
  • Imerys Talc America, Inc.: A talc mining and distribution company, which supplied Johnson & Johnson’s talc. It is also responsible for Luzenac America, Inc. and Rio Tinto Minerals, Inc.
  • Personal Care Products Council (PCPC): PCPC is an American trade organization for the cosmetics and personal care products industries. It influences governmental agencies on issues concerning marketing and sales practices of these products. The council’s actions have had an impact on the talc product landscape in the U.S.

More than 50,000 people have filed lawsuits against defendants like these, alleging harm caused by the genital use of talcum powder products. Because of the large volume of talc cases, federal district courts have coordinated many claimants’ lawsuits into a single multidistrict litigation (MDL) docket. Coordination can ease the burden on district courts while still allowing injured parties to pursue justice for the harms they experience.

What kinds of damages are available in a talcum powder lawsuit?

Damages, often known as “payouts,” may help compensate people for their injuries. In talcum powder lawsuits, “injury” encompasses cancers.

In a talcum powder lawsuit, you may be eligible to sue for damages for:

  • Healthcare costs associated with injuries caused by talcum powder use
  • Lost wages for time you missed at work because of your health issues
  • Pain and suffering you experienced
  • Wrongful death of a loved one

In some extreme cases, to punish a defendant, the court or a jury may also award additional damages to the injured party. These are called “punitive damages” and are awarded when a court determines the defendants’ actions were outrageous in the eyes of the law.

Any compensation you may receive depends on the unique facts of your case, whether you are able to settle your claims, and, if your case is tried, what a judge or jury awards you. An attorney with experience handling medical claims can discuss what damages may be available if you file a talc powder case.

What proof is needed in an ovarian cancer or mesothelioma talc powder lawsuit?

If you have ovarian cancer or mesothelioma because you used talcum powder, you may be eligible for compensation. For your case to proceed, you will need to show that:

  • You regularly used a talcum powder product: This can be done using evidence such as proof of purchase, physical evidence and testimony.
  • You were diagnosed with a cancer caused by talc or asbestos-contaminated talc: You will need to collect your medical records proving your ovarian cancer or mesothelioma diagnosis. This will also include receipts, insurance claims and other cost documentation, which are used to determine any award amounts you may receive.
  • Your ovarian cancer or mesothelioma is linked to the talcum powder product.

Your lawyer can help you find, gather and organize all of this information. They will use it to build your potential case and file a lawsuit for you if you are eligible.

If you believe that you have a claim, consider contacting an attorney as soon as possible. A statute of limitations (SOL) may limit the time you have to file a claim. If you do not file your claim within the SOL, you may lose it forever.

Motley Rice’s experience handling talcum powder lawsuits

Motley Rice attorneys Daniel Lapinski and Carmen Scott are members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) for cases alleging Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talc-based products caused ovarian cancer.

Dan also serves as co-chair of the Law & Briefing Committee, and Carmen is co-chair of the Bellwether Selection Committee. At present there are more than 50,000 cases pending in the MDL, In re Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation. 

Contact a talcum powder lawyer

If you or someone you know has used talcum powder and developed cancer you may have a talcum powder claim.

Please contact medical attorney Carmen Scott by email or call 1.800.768.4026 to learn more about talcum powder lawsuits.

Contact a lawyer today

Johnson & Johnson talcum powder lawsuit updates

The cases against Johnson & Johnson are some of the most highly publicized talcum powder lawsuits in history. The case against Johnson & Johnson for its talcum powder has been building for more than a decade. Some other recent updates to litigation involving the company include:

  • 2023: Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy plan is rejected: The company’s plan to handle talcum powder cases by offloading them to a subsidiary was rejected. An appeals court in Philadelphia found that Johson & Johnson did not have a legitimate need to declare bankruptcy. This decision allowed cases against the company to resume.
  • 2023: Johnson & Johnson stops global production of talc-based baby powder.
  • 2021: Johnson & Johnson files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy: Johnson & Johnson created a subsidiary to handle talcum powder claims and liabilities. The subsidiary filed for bankruptcy two days after creation, including a plan to create a trust fund to handle future claims. This is known as the “Texas Two Step” and allows companies to sidestep their liabilities.
  • 2020: Johnson & Johnson stops producing talc-based baby powder in North America: Johnson & Johnson announced in 2020 that it would end production of its talc-based baby powder products in the U.S. and Canada.
  • 2019: Lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson can continue: A New Jersey U.S. District Judge ruled that thousands of women who allege Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other talc-based products caused their ovarian cancer could move forward with their claims against Johnson & Johnson.
  • 2019: Major retailers pull Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder: In October 2019, multiple major retailers removed all 22-ounce bottles of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder from store shelves.
  • 2018: Internal documents point to Johnson & Johnson’s awareness of potential asbestos in talcum powder: In December 2018, an investigation by Thomson Reuters revealed thousands of pages in company memos and other previously confidential documents that showed Johnson & Johnson allegedly knew for decades that its talcum powder may contain asbestos. The company, however, failed to inform the public or regulators of the issue. 

Watch attorney Carmen Scott discuss since Johnson & Johnson's discontinuing production talc-based baby powder products in the U.S. and Canada:

Local attorney discusses baby powder lawsuit

Motley Rice’s experience representing women hurt by defective products

Motley Rice leads litigation brought by thousands of women harmed by defective products. Our law firm has extensive experience litigating product liability lawsuits for women and their family members who:

We also represent mothers suing over birth defects caused by prescription drugs and alleging necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) linked to baby formula.

We invite you to reach out to our attorneys at any time for a free consultation.

Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor's advice can result in injury or death. Paragard remains approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Motley Rice LLC, a South Carolina Limited Liability Company, is engaged in the New Jersey practice of law through Motley Rice New Jersey LLC. Esther Berezofsky attorney responsible for New Jersey practice.

Medical Drug Attorneys

Working with Us

Wondering what happens when you submit a form or give us a call? We spend time gathering information from you, and your initial call is always free.

What's important?

  • Names
  • Dates
  • Timeline of events
  • Related documents
Connect with an attorney 1.800.768.4026