If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes, Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., believes you should have legal representation that will relentlessly pursue the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Currently, thousands of women and their families are involved in a joint multidistrict litigation, MDL-2738. Our legal team will help you join this effort if you qualify.
These women all received a cancer diagnosis after long-term use of talcum powder on their genital area. Our team members will review your case and determine the next steps you should take to seek compensation based on your cancer diagnosis and other types of damages you suffered. Our Talcum powder lawsuit lawyers want to help you fight for compensation from the parties that produced these dangerous talc products.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Talcum Powder Lawsuit
Read more about the following in this article:
- What is the talcum powder lawsuit about?
- Who is the talcum powder lawsuit against?
- Who can file a claim for the talcum powder lawsuit?
- What are the criteria to file a talcum powder lawsuit?
- Have there been any successful talcum powder settlements or verdicts?
- How can a lawyer prove that my cancer came from talcum powder?
- What can I expect to recover in a successful talcum powder lawsuit?
- Is there a statute of limitations for talcum powder lawsuits?
- Can I sue for a loved one who died of cancer from talcum powder use?
- What is the relationship between talcum powder and cancer?
- How does talcum powder cause cancer?
- What types of cancer are caused by talc?
- What is the harmful ingredient in talcum powder?
- What products have harmful talcum powder?
What Is the Talcum Powder Lawsuit About?
According to the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, there were 18,283 active cases in MDL-2738 as of July 16, 2020, which makes it one of the largest current multidistrict litigations (MDLs) in the nation.
These cases were filed against pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson for its role in selling defective talcum powder products to people, who developed cancer after long-term use. There are also cases pending against other manufacturers, companies that mined talc, and other potentially liable parties.
MDL-2738 Plaintiffs Allege Talcum Powder Products are Linked to Ovarian Cancer
MDL-2738, officially titled Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, consist of several defective product claims that allege:
- Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products cause ovarian cancer and other types of cancers, thus making them defective and dangerous for public use.
- Johnson & Johnson used questionable marketing and sales practices despite having knowledge about the dangerous side effects linked with its talcum powder products.
These lawsuits also cite the pharmaceutical company’s internal records dating back to the 1970s, alleging that its talcum powder manufacturer was well aware of the products’ link to carcinogenic factors.
Johnson & Johnson Denied Any Dangerous Side Effects in its Products
Plaintiffs argue that if powder manufacturers knew about the connection between talcum powder on genitals and ovarian cancer four to five decades ago, then they had a responsibility to:
- Report about the carcinogenic link to their talcum powder products
- Warn consumers not to use products on their bodies
- Put adequate warnings on their packaging and product labels
Alternatively, they could have developed products that include safer formulas, such as those that rely on cornstarch instead of talc. Instead, Johnson & Johnson continued to deny that there was anything wrong with its talc-based products and let consumers continue to use them.
In fact, Johnson & Johnson only began a phase out of talc-based powder products in May of 2020, according to Bloomberg. The report points out that the company plans to “continue to defend the product at future trials,” and says the company is only taking it off the market in response to a change in consumer habits.
Who Is the Talcum Powder Lawsuit Against?
The biggest name involved in the talcum powder lawsuits is Johnson & Johnson. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing from Johnson & Johnson in 2018, there were 14,200 lawsuits pending against them in U.S. courts at that time.
Since that time, talcum powder lawsuits have ballooned to more than 18,000 cases, which covers the majority of lawsuits previously filed and currently underway as of July 2020. Only a handful have gone to jury trials or reached a settlement.
Johnson and Johnson Denies Liability in Talcum Powder Lawsuits but Phases Out Products
There is a good reason why Johnson & Johnson is the most talked-about name in talcum powder lawsuits. Their products dominated the market, especially since the mid-1990s. In addition to carrying a large part of the market share, they have stood by their products and argued that they are safe. This stance includes denying any wrongdoing at all.
Johnson & Johnson continued to sell talc-based powders until they began to phase them out in May 2020, which they claimed was a move influenced by a decrease in demand for talcum powder products by consumers and not due to safety. Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder products that use a corn starch formula have been available since 1980 and will remain on the market in this formulation.
Other Companies Facing Legal Action for Talcum Powder Products
While Johnson & Johnson faces the largest number of talcum powder claims, there are also other companies named in talc-based powder cancer lawsuits. These companies have been named as potentially liable parties due to their role in producing or distributing talc-based products.
Other named defendants in talcum powder lawsuits include:
- Colgate-Palmolive: Colgate-Palmolive manufactured and marketed Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder as well as other talc-based products for more than 100 years.
- Imerys Talc America: Imerys Talc America remains the largest talc mining operation in the United States and the world.
- Vanderbilt Minerals: Vanderbilt Minerals mined talc until 2008 and continues to sell a number of chemicals and additives to manufacturers who produce talc-based products.
Vanderbilt Minerals and Imerys Talc America have both previously faced legal action related to asbestos in their talc, including $22 million in damages awarded to a family in California by a jury in 2017. According to News Times, this ruling held both companies liable for the mesothelioma cancer death of a man who worked with their talc products.
Current Plaintiffs Want to Hold Companies Liable for Misleading Marketing
Many pending cases accuse more than one company of manufacturing and marketing the defective products, which includes failing to warn consumers of the potential risk of developing cancer after long-term use.
If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer as a result of prolonged use of talcum powder products, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against one or more parties, depending on who manufactured the products you used. A lawyer from our team can prepare a lawsuit and fight for compensation on your behalf.
Who Can File a Claim for the Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
If you ever used a talc-based powder on your genitals for feminine hygiene purposes and received an ovarian cancer diagnosis that can be tied to the products you used, you may be able to file a claim and possibly join MDL-2738.
Alternatively, there are three other categories of people who qualify to take legal action. These categories include:
- People who used talcum-based powders for other purposes and received a mesothelioma diagnosis
- People who used talcum powders and received another diagnosis of a potentially asbestos-related cancer
- Surviving family members of people who would have qualified but have since passed away as a result of their illness caused by talcum powder products
People Who Developed Ovarian Cancer
The great majority of the pending 18,000+ talcum powder cases against Johnson & Johnson and other parties involve women who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson products, such as:
- Johnson’s Baby Powder
- Shower to Shower
- Gold Bond
Ovarian cancer can be aggressive. According to the American Cancer Society, about 13,770 women died each year due to ovarian cancer.
If you used any of these talcum-based powder products for feminine hygiene purposes and developed ovarian cancer, you may qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and related pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.
People Diagnosed with Mesothelioma or Asbestos-Related Cancers
In 2019, Johnson & Johnson settled three mesothelioma cases, and currently faces multiple pending cases from plaintiffs that allege they developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers after using the company’s talc products.
Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs after a person breathes in asbestos. When asbestos reaches the lungs, it can remain there for decades before it develops into cancer along the outside lining of the lungs, called the pleura.
Mesothelioma is almost always deadly, and many people do not receive a diagnosis until they only have months left to live, even with aggressive treatment.
Surviving Family Members of Talcum Powder Product Victims
Surviving family members and loved ones of people who passed away as a result of an illness caused by talcum powder products may be eligible to pursue damages on behalf of their loved one. A personal injury lawyer from our team can help you build a lawsuit to hold the talcum powder manufacturer liable for your loved one’s illness and death.
While there are rules about who will be able to take legal action and pursue a wrongful death case, it might be possible for you or a representative to stand up for your family and your loved one. Most states allow family members to seek damages if they are closely related. Qualifying family members often include:
- Adult children
- Guardians of minor children
If you or your spouse, mother, or daughter received a cancer diagnosis after long-term use of talcum powder products, you and your family might have a case against Johnson & Johnson, a talc supplier, or another company. If you qualify, Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., will help you pursue compensation for the damages you suffered by assigning a talcum powder lawsuit lawyer to prosecute your claim.
What are the Criteria to File a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
In general, to file a talcum powder lawsuit, you will need:
- A medical diagnosis of cancer that has been potentially linked to talc exposure, including ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or another asbestos-related lung cancer; and
- A history of using talc-based powder products, even if you have not used them in years
- A family member who passed away and meets both of these criteria.
If you are unsure about whether you qualify to join an MDL or pursue an individual lawsuit, our legal team wants to offer you a free consultation to discuss your situation. We will review your case at no cost, helping you understand its strengths as well as any potential concerns that might affect your potential financial recovery.
Our legal team knows what it takes to build a case that matches the current criteria for MDL-2738 and what you need to do to participate as a plaintiff in this type of legal action.
You May Have Different Legal Options Available to You Depending on Your Case
Depending on the circumstances, there are likely a few options for you to consider if your case has merit. These options include:
- Joining MDL-2738
- Joining another mass tort if any exist
- Filing an individual lawsuit based on the facts of the case
- Pursuing an out-of-court settlement
During a free consultation, one of our team members will discuss these options with you and explain which may be viable for your situation. If it is possible to file an individual lawsuit or join MDL-2738 or another multidistrict litigation group, we will take appropriate legal steps to do so.
You Will Need to Present Evidence That Proves You Meet the Criteria to File
Part of building a personal injury lawsuit will involve collecting evidence that establishes the link between the talcum powder products you used and the cancer you developed. Our team will help you put together documentation that exhibits this connection.
Evidence will likely include:
- Your relevant medical records, tissue samples, and other medical evidence
- Medical expert testimony
- Documentation of your medical care, losses, and related expenses
- Receipts or bank statements that show a history of you purchasing talcum powder products
A personal injury lawyer from the Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., legal team will go to work on your talcum powder lawsuit right away if we believe you qualify to file a case or join MDL-2738. If you would like to file on behalf of a late loved one, our assigned attorney will be able to file a wrongful death action to hold the negligent product manufacturer(s) accountable.
Keep in mind that our law firm only charges attorney’s fees if we win our clients’ cases, meaning we work on a contingency-fee basis. If we are unable to secure compensation for you, you will not be charged for our services. Also, if we do win the case, our fees get taken out of your compensation reward at an agreed percentage, which we will discuss in your free consultation.
Have There Been Any Successful Talcum Powder Settlements or Verdicts?
While many talcum powder lawsuits are still pending, several juries have awarded large payouts to women who brought suits against Johnson & Johnson. These plaintiffs have been awarded billions of dollars in judgments against the consumer products giant. Case results include the following:
- In 2017, a California jury awarded more than $417 million for a woman’s ovarian cancer battle, according to The New York Times. However, this decision was later overturned on appeal.
- In 2018, a Missouri jury awarded a group of 22 women a total of $4.7 billion, including $550 million for their compensatory losses and $4.1 billion in punitive damages, according to Law.com. In June 2020, their punitive damages were reduced to $2.12 billion on appeal.
- In January of 2020, LA Times reported that a woman reached an out-of-court settlement with Johnson & Johnson in the middle of a jury trial alleging the company’s talcum powder product caused her mesothelioma. We do not know the total value of this settlement.
While this represents only a small fraction of cases, it does paint some hope for victims out there who have developed illnesses due to talcum powder products. Our legal team wants to help you prove the link between talc-based products and the cancers you developed so that you may receive compensation for the damages you suffered.
Recent Investigation Has Shown Manufacturers Were Aware of Safety Risks
An investigation by Reuters uncovered numerous internal documents from Johnson & Johnson that revealed the company’s awareness about carcinogenic factors related to their talcum powder products.
According to these documents, Johnson & Johnson was aware of a possible link to cancer as early as 1971. The company had this knowledge decades before the public was aware of any potential danger, yet Johnson & Johnson never issued a warning, recall, or other action to indicate the possibility of danger or defect with talc-based powders.
This is the basis for arguing why pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson should be ordered to pay punitive damages, as their misconduct appears to have gone far beyond negligence and general misconduct. Their acts led to the endangerment of thousands of lives. Our team encourages victims and families of victims to come forward so that these companies may be held accountable for their false marketing.
How Can a Lawyer Prove That My Cancer Came from Talcum Powder?
Once you decide to hire a personal injury lawyer from our firm, our legal team will begin taking steps to start preparing your case. We engage in a team effort to help each of our clients build the kind of comprehensive, sound case they need to fight for compensation.
Below are a few examples of the legal services we offer.
We Will Search For and Collect Evidence That Establishes Key Points of Your Case
To prove that a pharmaceutical company’s talcum powder product led to your ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or other illness, you will need to present several types of evidence that clearly presents this connection.
Our legal team will utilize our resources when investigating the case and collect this evidence for you. Key evidence we will search for or collect include:
- Your history of talcum powder use for feminine hygiene purposes
- Your medical records, including pathology reports
- Tissue samples from your biopsy or surgery
- Testimony from expert witnesses
Our team also has access to a network of medical experts who may be able to testify for the case and provide analysis that supports your argument that the talcum powder product caused your illness.
Our team may ask the expert to review your pathology reports, tissue samples, and medical records. This person will know what to look for in pathology reports to confirm talc fibers in the tissue samples or another causal factor led to cancer.
Our Legal Team Will Manage Your Case for You While You Continue Your Treatment
A personal injury lawsuit involves a tremendous amount of work and attention to detail. It would be natural for such concerns not to take precedent if you are currently undergoing cancer treatment. Our law firm understands the difficulty clients can have trying to balance their personal matters with legal obligations, which is why our team steps in to make your life easier.
While you focus on recovering, our legal team will handle multiple aspects of your case and notify you when new developments occur. Our services generally include:
- Keeping you updated on the case
- Identifying all liable parties, which we might discover during our private investigation into your case
- Communicating with all parties for you and managing all aspects of your mass tort case
- Determining a value for the case based off the damages you suffered
- Preparing legal paperwork and submitting them by their deadlines on your behalf
- Curating evidence and other information we find, then building a case argument around these materials
Our team will also help you understand what to expect in different stages of your legal journey and provide guidance whenever you have questions or concerns. Should any obstacles occur as we build your talcum powder lawsuit, one of our personal injury lawyers will explain different strategies we might take to address these issues.
At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., we want clients to feel secure in the way we handle their cases. We aim to provide you with strong legal representation and fight for your interests so that you can feel a sense of justice for the misfortune you were dealt.
We Will Guide You Throughout the Litigation Process and Advise You Accordingly
Because previous cases have established a link between cancer diagnoses and talcum powder use, we will use these points as leverage when building your case against the negligent pharmaceutical company and any other liable parties involved in the product’s manufacturing.
As such, your case might go through several routes, such as:
- Reaching an out-of-court settlement with the powder manufacturer
- Joining the MDL and being part of a settlement
- Proceeding through the MDL and taking your case back to its original jurisdiction for trial
Our team will represent you in the case, offering advice, support, and regular case updates during the course of the multidistrict litigation. This process does not generally require you to actively participate or travel for court, but our team will be able to keep you up to date about what is happening and how it affects you.
Our Staff is Also Multilingual
Our law firm caters to clients in New York, so we know how diverse our clientele can be in both their backgrounds and cultural identities. As such, we have taken measures to meet the demands of our clients who prefer to speak another language instead of English during their legal consultations, as this can help them understand their legal situation better.
Our multilingual staff members will be able to discuss your legal options in the following languages:
Every member of our team is a passionate advocate for the injured, including those who suffered a cancer diagnosis and treatment or those who lost a loved one following their cancer battle. We will be both honored and privileged if you choose to have us work for you, and confide in us as we build your case. Deeply understanding your experience enables us to present all that you have been through in a most powerful and compelling way and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What Can I Expect to Recover in a Successful Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
For many people, getting a general idea of how much compensation they might be able to receive is their main priority. However, because people have unique variables that affect their lives, each talcum powder lawsuit—and personal injury lawsuits in general—are unique in the kinds of damages plaintiffs can receive. Therefore, there is no flat figure to expect out of your talcum powder lawsuit.
That being said, our team will take steps to begin calculating your damages to reach a specific figure for your case. We will use this total figure as a measure for how fair a settlement offer might be should you receive one or how much compensation we should fight for if we have to take the case to court.
First, we will have to assess your damages, so some key factors we will consider include:
- What your current financial damages are in terms of direct expenses caused by a cancer diagnosis or other injuries
- Whether you should expect future losses and expenses because of your injuries
- The physical and emotional impact of your cancer, medical treatment, complications, and other significant changes caused by your health
- The severity of your illness, including the likelihood of remission or even death if you have cancer
Our team understands that these may be difficult topics to discuss, so we aim to be patient as you explain your current circumstances with us. We encourage you to be as forthcoming as possible.
What We Will Use to Measure the Value of Your damages and Calculate Figures
Being as accurate as possible when calculating damages is crucial, as you will not have a second opportunity to pursue compensation once the case settles. Our team knows what materials we need to calculate damages, so we will ask for certain items if you have them available or take steps to retrieve them for you.
For example, we will ask for access to your medical records or bills to calculate the costs of your medical treatment. However, certain damages may not have current documentation because they did not happen yet (future damages) or they may require expert analysis to reach accurate estimates.
Our team has a network of expert witnesses we can work with to help assess your damages, such as:
- Ovarian cancer experts
- Vocational rehabilitation specialists, if applicable
- Lifecare planners
We will refer to these and other experts, if necessary, then use their testimonies as part of your evidence profile.
Types of Damages You May be Entitled to Claim in Your Talcum Powder Lawsuit
Specific types of damages you will be able to seek if they apply to your case include:
- Medical care and all related expenses for your cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Costs for ongoing medical care and support, as needed
- Current loss of wages and benefits you have suffered
- Future income loss or reductions in earning capacity caused by your illness
- Any out-of-pocket costs related to your cancer or treatment, such as necessary modifications to your home if you require a wheelchair, expenses related to traveling to see a doctor, and at-home care services if you are unable to live independently
- Pain and suffering, which includes physical pain and emotional anguish related to your illness
- Diminished quality of life
It is important to note that the values of talcum powder cases vary widely. Even when two cases appear to be very similar, the losses and expenses are often very different. We will coordinate efforts to reach a fair total that reflects the extent of damages you suffered, then strategize how to pursue this figure in negotiations or at trial.
Surviving Family Members May Pursue Damages on Behalf of a Late Loved One
Our legal team also handles talcum powder cases involving wrongful death. If such a tragic circumstance is what has led you to this page, we are so sorry that you lost your loved one as a result of ovarian cancer or another illness and offer you our heartfelt condolences. While you may be grieving your family member at this time, we want to offer our legal assistance to move the case forward so that you and your family may be able to recover tangible losses.
With wrongful death actions, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for additional types of damages:
- Funeral arrangement expenses, including burial or cremation services expenses
- Loss of financial contribution from your loved one
- Loss of consortium (These are the special losses, recognized by law, that a person experiences when their spouse is a wrongful death victim.)
- Loss of society
- Loss of parental guidance
We want to speak with you about your loved one’s illness and death, and possibly take action on behalf of your family to hold the talcum powder manufacturer responsible for this loss.
A lawyer from the Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., team will be assigned to work on your talcum powder lawsuit as soon as you decide to work with us.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Talcum Powder Lawsuits?
The statute of limitations sets a legal deadline for people to file a lawsuit. Depending on the type of case a person is submitting, this deadline can vary. A number of factors affect how long you might have to file a talcum powder lawsuit, so it is crucial that you become aware of this deadline so appropriate action can be taken.
Each state has its own statute of limitations and other laws governing the timeliness aspects of civil cases, including:
- Laws for wrongful death cases
- Rules for tolling (i.e., extending,) the statute of limitations
- Statutes of repose for the ultimate deadline when filing a case
If you are filing a case in New York, then you must comply with New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214 when submitting your case. Our law firm helps people in New York by filing their personal injury cases, so we will notify you of your case’s deadline as we work on it and take action accordingly.
Missing Your Case’s Filing Deadline Has Significant Consequences
It is vital that you meet the deadlines that apply in your case. Missing the cut-off date would lead you to lose the right to file a lawsuit in general, which would lead to the following consequences:
- You would be barred from recovering the value of the damages you suffered through litigation.
- If you are unable to file the lawsuit due to tardiness, you will lose leverage against the opposing party to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, as you would be ineligible to pursue legal action.
- We encourage you to contact our legal team as soon as possible if you believe you may have a talcum powder case. One of our representatives will answer your questions and determine if you qualify to take legal action against Johnson & Johnson or another liable pharmaceutical company. Our legal team will file the paperwork and help you join MDL-2738 if we believe you are eligible to do so.
Can I Sue for a Loved One Who Died of Cancer from Talcum Powder Use?
If your loved one developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or another type of cancer and you suspect it is tied to talcum powder product use, our team at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., wants to help you. We will review your case for free and determine whether you qualify to file an individual lawsuit on behalf of your late loved one or join MDL-2738 to pursue compensation.
We understand that your loved one’s cancer battle and your loss have been difficult. We believe no one should have to accept a wrongful death without holding the liable party responsible when possible. Our team will seek evidence and build a case against the negligent pharmaceutical company that caused your loved one’s death.
Certain Family Members Qualify to File a Wrongful Death Action
Some states limit which family members are eligible to bring legal action after a loved one’s death, but generally, a family member or personal representative for the deceased acts on behalf of all qualifying and surviving family members.
Immediate family members are often allowed to pursue and recover several types of damages in a defective products case like this. Qualifying family members often include:
- Surviving spouses
- Surviving children, both minors and adults
- Surviving parents
In some cases, surviving siblings or grandparents may be able to file if there are no other qualifying family members to represent the deceased party. However, these rules are based on your state’s legislature for wrongful death cases.
If you are filing in New York, our team will comply within the state’s parameters for submitting wrongful death actions. We will pursue compensation for both the damages you suffered because of the loss of your loved one as well as the damages your loved one suffered before they passed away. Our team will also discuss these damages during legal consultations.
What Is the Relationship Between Talcum Powder and Cancer?
In 1971, BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology published a study that claimed there was a link between talc-based powders and ovarian cancer. The study detailed their findings after observing tumor tissues extracted from women who had cervical and ovarian cancer.
Researchers found talc embedded within the extracted tissue. Talc is often closely associated with the known carcinogen asbestos, and mined talc often contains asbestos. However, manufacturers of talc-based health and beauty products deny that their powders contain any trace of asbestos today.
Other Recent Research Also Found Link Between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Despite scientific reports alerting readers about a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer nearly 50 years ago, it wasn’t until recently when new research reconfirmed this connection that more people became aware of the dangers of talcum powder.
Recent studies found that women who used talc-based powders are still at an increased risk of ovarian cancer. This stance includes two meta-analyses of data pulled from multiple sources:
- The European Journal of Cancer Prevention published a 2018 meta-analysis that found a “weak but statistically significant association” between ovarian cancer and using talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes.
- Epidemiology published a report in 2018 confirming the same thing: “a consistent association” between using talc-based powders and the development of ovarian cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, it is very difficult to determine how big of a risk these powders pose. The difficulty is, at least in part, that it takes decades for cancer to develop and for people to become ill. By this time, the victim’s hygiene habits and preferred products might change, and any study will rely on their memory of which products they used, including how and when.
Manufacturers Take Advantage of Lax Guidelines for Personal Care Products
Since 1976, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association (CTFA) has had guidelines in place that no personal care products sold in the United States should contain any detectable volume of asbestos, according to the American Public Health Association (APHA). However, these guidelines are issued by a trade organization and are entirely voluntary.
Still, it is not necessary to know how big the risk is of developing ovarian cancer or other cancers as a result of using talcum powders. The bottom line is that the companies knew there might be a concern about their products when used in a certain way. They knew their products might cause harm to consumers, yet, these companies issued no warnings.
Plaintiffs in MDL-2738 are counting on these studies, internal documents, and expert testimony to be enough to prove the product lacked a vital warning that could have prevented cancer and saved lives and to show negligence on behalf of Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder manufacturers.
How does Talcum Powder cause Cancer?
There was evidence to suggest that talcum powder could cause ovarian cancer in women who used it for hygiene purposes even before it was widely recognized why this might be happening.
Talc has been present in tissue samples taken from cancerous tumors in women’s reproductive tracts, including cervical and ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer seems to be the primary risk related to the long-term use of talc-based powders on the genitals, underwear, and sanitary pads, a common practice for women in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and beyond.
Talc Can be Contaminated by Asbestos During Mining
The mineral talc often occurs alongside the mineral asbestos. When talc is mined, the mineral often becomes contaminated with this deadly carcinogen. The dangers of using contaminated talc-based products then include:
- A greater chance of developing mesothelioma, which is caused by asbestos exposure
- A greater chance of developing other types of lung cancers as a result of asbestos exposure
- A greater chance of developing ovarian, cervical, and other cancers around the genital area due to exposure to carcinogens
Exposure to carcinogens can lead to varying consequences depending on how you used the talcum powder product. This is why it is important to get a medical professional to observe your condition and provide analysis on what may have caused you to develop cancer. Make sure to inform them of your talcum powder use to see if that might have played a role in your illness.
If you suspect that your or a loved one’s cancer might be traced back to talcum powder products, our team will investigate your situation to see if you have a viable case against the manufacturer of those products.
What Types of Cancer are Caused by Talc?
Most of the talcum powder cancer cases currently underway have centered on one of two types of cancer:
- Ovarian cancer in women who used talc-based powder for personal hygiene use: Talcum powder use might be linked to ovarian cancer, including the most common type of malignant tumor, epithelial ovarian tumors.
- Mesothelioma in people who breathed talc-based powder into their lungs during use: Mesothelioma can develop in the lungs, the lining of the abdomen, the lining around the heart, or the lining of the testicles. This type of cancer affects mesothelial tissue, which only occurs in these areas.
In each case, long-term use of talc-based products seems to have caused particles to become embedded inside the body.
Talc particles have been found in tissue samples from women with ovarian cancer. Cases of mesothelioma have been linked to talcum powder use or other talc exposure where there was no other known method of asbestos exposure. It is theorized that inhaling talc-based products contaminated with asbestos leads to mesothelioma.
Products that May Contain Talcum Powder
Talc is used in many types of products, so exposure could also occur in other ways besides feminine hygiene use or inhalation of baby powder. This exposure includes products meant for cosmetic purposes, home use, or industrial uses.
Some products that contain talc include:
- Joint compounds and other building materials
- Chalk, paper, clay, and other similar supplies
- Baby powder, Gold Bond powder, and other types of body powders
If you used a hygiene product or another applicable product containing talc for an extended period of time and later developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or another type of asbestos-related cancer, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the product manufacturer.
You might also be able to join MDL-2738 or take other action to hold the product manufacturer liable and recover compensation. Our legal team will explain your options in a free consultation.
What is the Harmful Ingredient in Talcum Powder?
When talcum powder lawsuits initially began, they all focused on the role of talc on its own. The first talc-based powder lawsuit to go before a jury in federal court, a 2013 case against Johnson & Johnson, relied on expert witness testimony to link talcum powder to ovarian cancer.
It was not until more than five years later when new studies revealed talcum powder products were contaminated with asbestos. New lawsuits were then filed that allege there are several problematic contaminants in these products in addition to the talc itself. These harmful ingredients include:
- Asbestiform fibers
These lawsuits differ from previous talcum powder and ovarian cancer cases, which relied on proving the talc itself was the sole cancer-causing agent. Plaintiffs now might be able to build stronger cases by establishing how their talcum powder products could have been contaminated and that this contamination involved known carcinogens.
Reuters’ Investigative Report Reveals Manufacturers Were Aware of Harmful Ingredients
In 2018, news agency Reuters published an in-depth investigative report about the possibility that Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers, mining companies, and suppliers knew that their talc was contaminated by asbestos as early as the 1970s.
The article cited internal documents that allegedly demonstrate how companies that produced talcum powder products knew their products were possibly causing cancer, but did not warn consumers about the potential risks of developing it through use of their products.
Other allegations made in the report include:
- Talcum powder companies tested their products and ingredients, such as raw talc, for asbestos, which is how they became aware of carcinogenic substances in their products.
- Tests began as early as the 1970s and revealed that talcum powder products tested positive for trace amounts of asbestos.
- Companies continued to test their products to modern day and continuously found contaminations.
It remains to be seen whether the documents Reuters relied on for this report will come to light as a result of the pending lawsuits or other actions. The news agency claims they had access to internal memos and internal reports on the purity and safety of the talc and talcum powder products.
Our team may refer to these documents and other information to hold companies like Johnson & Johnson accountable for their negligence against the general public, especially to victims like you.
What Products Have Harmful Talcum Powder?
Some of the most popular products plaintiffs have identified in the talcum powder lawsuits include:
- Johnson’s Baby Powder
- Shower to Shower
- Gold Bond Body Powder
- Gold Bond Extra Strength Body Powder
- Gold Bond No Mess Powder Spray
- Cashmere Bouquet Talcum Powder
In addition, there are also many other cosmetic and personal use products that could contain talc or once contained talcum powder. This could include any type of:
- Baby powder
- Body powder
- Personal hygiene powder product
- Cosmetic powder
If you can identify the product you used, our team will investigate whether it might have contained talc or another contaminant, like asbestos, at the time you used it. If so, our team will pursue a case against the manufacturer, talc mining operation, supplier, or another liable party to hold them accountable for any illnesses you developed as a result of using their product.
People Who Used Talcum Powder Products Years Ago are Most Affected
While manufacturers and other companies involved in the mining process continue to claim their products are absolutely safe and free from asbestos or other harmful ingredients or contaminants, the fact remains that many people either previously used these products or continue to use these products without knowing the risks they possibly face as a result.
In general, the demand for this type of product has decreased over the last 25 to 30 years, and there are far fewer on the market today than in the 1970s and 1980s. However, asbestos-related cancers take years to develop. Women who used these products decades ago are receiving ovarian cancer diagnoses now, and mesothelioma generally takes a minimum of 20 years to become symptomatic.
Even if your story begins a few decades ago, our team wants to help you find justice and hold these product manufacturers accountable for their negligence and wrongdoing.
Speak with a Member of Our Defective and Dangerous Products Team Today
A personal injury lawyer from the Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., legal team will represent you in a talcum powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson or another liable party if you developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or another serious illness after using talc-based products long-term. If you are eligible to join MDL-2738 or another multidistrict litigation group, we will help you prepare your case for this legal effort.
Get started today by reaching out to Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., and receive a free case evaluation and consultation. Call (516) 932-0400 now to speak to a member of our team about your case at no cost to you.