What Is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is made up mostly of talc, a naturally occurring mineral that is typically retrieved from open-pit mines through blasting or drilling. In its raw state, talc is comprised of several elements, including silicon, magnesium and oxygen.
Believe it or not, talc is a multi-billion-dollar global industry. A core ingredient in baby powder, deodorants and cosmetic products, talc is a mineral that has been widely used for centuries due to its softness, natural absorption and anti-caking properties.
Pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson®, have faced lawsuits for using talc in their baby powder. These lawsuits have been successful due to the growing body of research that shows prolonged talcum powder use may lead to cancer. Ovarian cancer, lung cancer and, more rarely, stomach and uterine cancer, have all been linked to talcum powder use.
In April 2023, Johnson & Johnson offered almost $9 billion to settle tens of thousands of lawsuits blaming the company’s talc products for causing cancer in users.
Women who consistently use or have used talcum powder in their genital area are at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a particularly aggressive form of cancer that has a lower survival rate, especially when it is not caught in its earliest stages.
What Is Talc?
Talc, the mineral that is the core ingredient in talcum powders, is naturally found in metamorphic rocks near convergent plate boundaries. Long-term natural processes, such as the heating of water that contains dissolved magnesium and silica, can cause reactions with nearby chemicals and rocks, which then create talc deposits. Most talc in the United States is found in or near mountain ranges.
The country’s biggest talc deposits are in the Appalachian Mountains and in rocky areas in western states such as:
- New Mexico
Mining companies will excavate large open-pit mines and then drill, blast and crush rocks to access talc deposits. The crushed rock that contains talc is taken from the mining site to a mill where it is processed and ground down to a particle size. Processed talc can then be used in powders, plastics, paint, cosmetics, roofing or for other purposes.
Given the dozens of different industries that use talc, miners and processors can sell the mineral to pharmaceutical companies, cosmetics firms and paint and plastic manufacturers, among others.
The global talc industry is worth several billion dollars—a number that is only expected to grow over time.
Talcum Powder Risks
Researchers have found that consistent (often daily or weekly) use of talcum powder increases a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer. Those most at-risk include women who apply talc-based products to their genital area for hygienic reasons.
In addition to ovarian cancer, women who use talcum powder are also at risk of developing uterine or stomach cancer. However, ovarian cancer is particularly dangerous because many symptoms are subtle or do not arise until the disease is in its advanced stages.
If ovarian cancer is detected within the earliest stages of the disease, the 5-year survival rate can be as high as 90%. Unfortunately, less than 20% of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with the disease in its early stages.
Though there is still more research to do, many medical professionals now advise their patients to avoid talcum powders and to limit their use of talc given the potential health risks it poses.
Talcum Powder and Cancer
Talcum powder can cause cancer of the ovaries, lungs, uterus and stomach, though not all of the talc’s health risks are known at this time.
Stray talc particles that enter into the body can cause an inflammatory reaction that encourages tumor growth and abnormal cell changes. This inflammation may start out as scarring or the thickening of tissue and then develop into tumors over time.
Talc-related cancers, such as ovarian and lung cancer, are often very aggressive. In some cases, ovarian cancer tumors can develop and spread within only weeks or months. For this reason, women who believe they may be suffering from symptoms of ovarian cancer should see a doctor and get a medical evaluation immediately.
Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Feeling full without having eaten
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Irregular menstrual cycle bleeding
Women who suspect they may have ovarian cancer are often diagnosed through imaging tests such as MRIs or CT scans, or via a blood test, such as the CA 125 test. This test checks for elevated levels of the CA 125 protein in the blood. High levels of CA 125 can sometimes be an early indicator of ovarian cancer.
Talcum Powder in the 20th Century
Talc-based hygiene and cosmetic products have been produced by companies in the United States for over a century. Johnson & Johnson began producing its famous baby powder in the late 1800s, using talc as the powder’s core ingredient.
Historically, talc was mined in the Appalachian Mountains and in the rocky regions of the western United States. After mining, talc was sent to mills to be processed and developed into powders that were then sold to industrial companies and later to consumers.
Over the course of the 20th century, the use of talc expanded greatly from baby and talcum powder to plastics, rubbers, paints, pharmaceuticals and other industrial products.
Researchers began to associate talcum powder exposure with ovarian cancer in the 1970s. Scientists and medical professionals found that some women with ovarian cancer had formed tumors around talc particles that had migrated to the ovaries.
Talcum Powder Today
Although research dating back to the 1970s has linked talcum powder use with a higher risk of cancer, talc continues to be used in a wide range of products today.
Over the last few years, companies like Johnson & Johnson have faced a number of lawsuits from women who developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s baby powder. As a result, billions have been awarded to women and their families as compensation.
Still, many major companies to sell their talcum and baby powder without warnings or public notice, despite the growing body of proof that links talcum powder to cancer.
As of early 2019, Johnson & Johnson faces nearly 12,000 legal claims that blame baby powder for causing cancer.
Legal Help for Cancer Caused by Talcum Powder
Certain body powders, like the baby powder manufactured by Johnson & Johnson®, use talc as a core ingredient. In talcum powder cancer lawsuits, victims have successfully argued that long-term use of talc-based products caused them to develop cancer.
In July 2018, a Missouri jury awarded $4.14 Billion in punitive damages and $550 Million in compensatory damages to nearly 2 dozen women who accused Johnson & Johnson of hiding the cancer risks associated with their talc-based baby powder.
As more and more women come forward, massive talcum powder companies are starting to be held accountable for not warning their consumers of the health risks associated with their products.
The nurse case managers at Talcum Powder Cancer Guide partner with an experienced team of legal advocates and medical experts who will do everything in their power to fight on your behalf.
We believe that women who have been taken advantage of by talcum powder companies need the support of legal counsel to help them get the compensation and medical care that they rightly deserve.
Why Should You Seek Legal Help?
Navigating the complex legal system is a daunting task for anyone, let alone for someone who is also battling talcum powder cancer. Statutes of limitations and complex claim filing rules vary state by state, and only experienced attorneys know how to maximize a person’s chances of getting financial compensation.
First and foremost, we believe that women who have been wrongly injured should focus on their families and their health above all else. Hiring legal experts who have your best interests at heart will allow you to stay focused on treatment and recovery. It might also provide peace of mind knowing that someone is fighting for your best interests in court.
Seeking legal help can lead to financial security to help with medical expenses, emotional healing and security for the future. Here are a few reasons why you may consider asking for legal help in your talcum powder case.
Relief of Burdens
Battling cancer is the biggest fight many of us will ever face in our lives. Often overlooked in the fight against cancer is the psychological toll that goes hand in hand with the stress of procedures, surgeries, new medications and other life obligations. Self-care is a key tool in successfully fighting back against cancer.
Fighting cancer is not only difficult, it is expensive—and it is a battle you do not need to face alone. A knowledgeable, experienced legal team can help you navigate the intricacies of the legal system and simplify the entire process for you.
Compensation is often key to securing a financially stable future for you and your loved ones. Bills, treatments and medications will add up, but knowing that financial compensation will cover these costs can go a long way toward easing your mind.
When choosing a law firm to represent your interests in court, it is vital to pick a firm with extensive experience. You will want a team that specializes in cases similar to yours.
Our partner law firm has 40 years of experience and is focused on helping victims of corporate greed. They have a long track record of success in fighting corporations and beating them in court.
With the help of experienced legal professionals, the legal process can be made simple. Our partner law firm works hard to accommodate your needs, such as traveling to you if you are too sick to leave your home or the hospital.
Focusing on your medical treatment for ovarian cancer is hard enough. You should not have to do it while going through the legal process on your own.
Pursuing a legal claim can help bring the companies responsible for your talc-related injuries to justice. In some cases, lawsuits can change the behavior of a corporate entity. If reckless corporate behavior gets penalized in court, the company involved is more likely to change their behavior to prevent more legal issues. This is how lawsuits now can save lives down the road.
The benefits of a successful claim extend far beyond yourself. By taking action, you may help thousands of other people whom you will likely never meet. Holding a corporation accountable for their wrongs encourages other companies that make similar products to also change their behaviors. Additionally, government agencies may crack down harder on companies that put the public in jeopardy.
Talc Is Not Safe. Take Legal Action Now.
Talc may have a long and extensive history of use in the United States, but its future does not have to mirror its past.
Health advocates, global health organizations and regulatory agencies around the world are catching on, as are consumers at large: Prolonged exposure to talc-based products can lead to ovarian cancer, lung cancer, uterine cancer or stomach cancer.
As is often the case, consumers trust that what they are buying off of store shelves is safe. In doing so, they are entrusting the product’s manufacturers with their lives. When that unspoken promise between buyer and seller has been violated, it is an unforgivable act—and one for which consumers should not stand.
Companies have a duty to warn the public if their products are linked with certain health risks, and they should know better than to jeopardize people’s lives in order to make a profit. Legal action can hold companies that act recklessly accountable for their actions.
Statutes of limitations vary from state to state, and the time a person has to file a claim may be limited. This makes it even more crucial to take legal action as soon as possible.
Do not hesitate. Our team of knowledgeable and experienced legal advocates is here to help you along every step of the way.
Take The First Step Toward Justice
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer due to long-term use of talc products, it is important to recognize that your illness is not your fault. Producers of talcum powder such as Johnson & Johnson have gone out of their way to hide their talc-based products’ link to cancer for years.