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How Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

For years, it was not clear to victims how talcum powder caused cancer, only that there seemed to be a strong connection for women who used these products for feminine hygiene uses and later developed ovarian cancer. However, the cases in the ongoing multidistrict litigation related to talcum powder cancer cases, MDL-2738, point a finger at asbestos contamination in these products. This case is currently underway in the U.S. District Court – District of New Jersey, as of August 2020.

In the mines, talc and asbestos often occur alongside one another. During talc mining, contamination is possible under certain circumstances. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and has strong ties to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other cancers, generally with occupational exposure.

Once this connection became clear, some people fighting mesothelioma who did not have a known history of asbestos exposure but worked with or used talc also filed lawsuits against talc mining corporations, powder manufacturers, and other liable parties.

Asbestos Is a Known Danger, the Risk Is Unclear

There has been a lot of research into asbestos exposure and mesothelioma and other lung cancers. When a person breathes in these mineral fibers, the fibers become embedded in lung tissue. They create irritation, which eventually has the potential to cause a malignant growth in the lung tissue (lung cancer) or the lining of the lungs and chest cavity (pleural mesothelioma).

The talcum powder cancer cases include not only mesothelioma but also ovarian and cervical cancer cases. These lawsuits allege that the same process that leads to mesothelioma is causing cancers of the reproductive tract in women who used talc-based products on their underwear, sanitary napkins, and perianally. This powder made its way through the cervix and to the ovaries, embedding in the tissue.

While it seems clear that there is a link between talc-based products and ovarian cancer, it is hard to know how significant this risk is. According to the American Cancer Society, the time it takes for talcum powder and asbestos to lead to a cancer diagnosis makes it difficult to track, since it relies on the memory of when or if a woman used these products.

Talcum Powder Manufacturers Were Aware of the Issue for Decades

There is reason to believe that talcum powder manufacturers and others involved in making these products were aware of how talcum powder causes cancer, or at least that it does, for decades.

In 1971, medical journal BJOG published a study that showed there was likely a link between the use of talc-based powders perianally and the development of ovarian and cervical cancer. The study found talc particles embedded in tumors removed from women with these cancers.

Five years lawyer, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association recommended that all members test their talc products to ensure there was no asbestos exposure, according to the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety at Michigan State University. This organization, now called the Personal Care Products Council, is an industry organization and only makes recommendations to members. They do not provide oversight.

Adding additional evidence to show Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder manufacturers knew about the possibility of a cancer link 40+ years ago, News agency Reuters published a 2018 investigative report based on internal documents and communications that showed these companies were having conversations about it during the 1970s and 1980s.

Pursue Compensation Based on Your Cancer Diagnosis

If you used talcum powder products and received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, or believe a loved one died as a result of a talc-related cancer, you likely qualify to file a lawsuit and possibly join MDL-2738. If you call us to handle your case, Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will to it that a member of our legal team will:

  • Keep you up to date on your case
  • Identify liable parties
  • Communicate with all involved parties for you
  • Gather evidence
  • Determine a value for your case

To prove a talcum powder cancer case, we will need to analyze medical records and enlist support from expert witnesses, such as medical experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, lifecare planners, and economists. We will also document your damage, including economic and non-economic expenses and losses. There is a statute of limitations on these cases, so you should reach out to us as soon as possible to learn more.

Speak With a Member of the Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. Team Today

At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., our team members are passionate advocates for the injured. We will fight for justice in your case if you qualify to file a talcum powder cancer lawsuit, join the MDL, or file a wrongful death action after your loved one passed away from their cancer.

You can discuss your talcum powder cancer case with a member of the Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. team for free today. Call (516) 932-0400 to get started.

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