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Talcum powder use and cancer risk linked

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2019 | Firm News

Earlier this summer, a group of research scientists and physicians from Michigan’s Wayne State University announced their findings regarding the link between the use of talcum powder and diagnoses of ovarian cancer.

Their research confirms years of speculation in the scientific and medical communities that women who used talcum powder had higher incidences of the disease. Now, the reason behind the link has been revealed.

Talc triggers cancerous changes

In a laboratory setting, researchers used both malignant and benign ovarian cells that they sprinkled with talcum powder. For both cell sets, an oxidative state was created by the talc. Oxidative states are chemically imbalanced and put more stress on the cells that, in turn, induces malignant changes.

Talcum powder use affects women at the cellular level to generate a molecular mechanism that illustrates the link between use of talc in women’s genital area to a heightened risk of developing ovarian cancer.

In the February 2019 Reproductive Sciences journal, one researcher noted that the “findings are the first to confirm the cellular effect of talc and provide a molecular mechanism to previous reports linking genital use to increased ovarian cancer risk.”

Other cancers may be linked to talcum powder use

As recently as October 2019, industry leader Johnson & Johnson issued a volutary recall of some of its talcum powder because of “low levels of asbestos contamination.” The company has thus far been named as defendants in over 14,000 lawsuits regarding talcum powder use.

Inspections by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined the presence of chrysotile asbestos in a sample taken from a unit of the product that was sold online. Chrysotile asbestos has been definitively found to cause mesothelioma, a deadly cancer.

Company defends its powder

Despite the evidence, Johnson & Johnson continues to defend their talcum powder, denying it is unsafe or that it causes cancer.

More than one jury around the nation had disagreed with the company’s conclusions. They have sided with plaintiffs in litigation against the manufacturers and have awarded them huge monetary judgments — at least one in the billions.

Last year, a jury handed down a $4.7 billion award to 22 plaintiff victims and surviving family members after the women proved that their often life-long use of baby powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

Experts testified on behalf of the plaintiffs that the talc in the powder was contaminated by asbestos, long acknowledged as a deadly carcinogen.

Could you have contracted ovarian cancer via talcum powder use?

If you suspect that your own ovarian cancer is linked to talcum powder usage, you may have the right to seek compensation for your losses and damages.