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The connection between talcum powder and cancer

by | Mar 14, 2019 | Products Liability |

Talcum powder has long been a staple in many Texas homes. Known for its ability to absorb moisture and reduce friction, this product has been used for decades as a personal care item. However, recent findings have demonstrated a link between talcum powder and cancer. 

Talcum powder is derived from the mineral talc. Talc has been used to make many different kinds of cosmetics products and powders throughout the years. Sometimes talc is found to contain asbestos, a mineral that is known to cause a cancer called mesothelioma when inhaled. In recent years, allegations that use of talcum powder has caused ovarian cancer have resulted in many products liabilities lawsuits against manufacturers. According to the National Institute of Health, studies have shown that genital usage of talc has been linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer.

The New York Times noted that a recent lawsuitagainst pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, manufacturer of the best-selling baby powder, resulted in one of the largest personal injury lawsuit awards ever. The lawsuit had been brought by 22 women who alleged that use of that brand’s baby powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer, a risk of which the company had knowledge. A jury awarded the group $4.69 billion after finding that the company was aware of the link between asbestos and talc.

Approximately 12,000 similar lawsuits are still pending against the company. There are also pending lawsuits for mesothelioma. Much debate in the lawsuits centers around whether there was asbestos in the samples of talcum powder that were sent for testing.