ASBESTOS EXPOSURE

Talc and Ovarian
Cancer

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In recent years, talcum powder has made headlines for its potentially cancer-causing properties. This household essential has been identified as a risk factor for ovarian cancer in women. Talcum powder has long been a popular personal hygiene product and serves as a key ingredient in many other common household products.

The widespread use of talcum powder, coupled with its ties to ovarian cancer, has resulted in billion-dollar jury awards aimed at restoring justice to the women whose lives and fertility have been harmed by talcum powder products and the company that marketed it to consumers for decades.

What is Talc?

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral found in rock deposits. It’s composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Its composition makes it highly versatile, and it is mined for use in a wide variety of products. It’s a particularly common ingredient in personal care products.

The problem with talc is that it tends to be found in close proximity to another natural mineral: asbestos. Asbestos is a known toxin, and it has long been linked to causing cancer in those exposed to it.

Both talc and asbestos are frequently found in the clay deposits in metamorphic rock. Asbestos veins often run straight through talc deposits.

Concerns for the possibility of cross-contamination of talc and asbestos stretch back to early studies completed in the 1960s and ’70s. Once mined, talc is crushed to a fine powder and distributed for use across a wide range of industries. It’s a common ingredient in paint, plastics, ceramics, paper, and personal care products.

Talcum Powder Uses

Talc is also commonly referred to as talcum powder. Talcum powder’s texture makes it ideal for absorbing moisture, preventing caking, and maintaining an even consistency.

Because of these benefits, Talc is the main ingredient in many personal hygiene products, including some of the following:

BABY POWDER

Adult Body Powder

BABY POWDER

Adult Body Powder

Eyeshadow

Blush

Foundation

Face powder

The use of talc contaminated with asbestos in personal care products is of particular concern because asbestos is known to cause asbestosis.

How does talc cause ovarian cancer?

Studies of talc and ovarian cancer work to distinguish between talc that is contaminated with asbestos and talc that is not.

For now, the scientific consensus holds that there is a direct link between ovarian cancer risk and talcum powder that contains trace amounts of asbestos. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) identifies talc containing asbestos as carcinogenic to humans.

Applying talcum powder directly to the genital area or to sanitary napkins is a common women’s hygiene practice. Studies often look at direct genital use when tracing whether the application of talc to these areas increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are more likely to appear once the disease has progressed into the later stages. However, some women might experience symptoms earlier on.

According to the American Cancer Society, the most common signs of ovarian cancer are:

  • Abdominal and pelvic pain
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty eating
  • Feeling full quickly
  • Urinary urgency or frequency

The symptoms of ovarian cancer can also be signs of several other conditions. This can make it difficult to diagnose ovarian cancer promptly.

Secondary symptoms of ovarian cancer that not all women experience might include:

  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Painful intercourse
  • Heavy or irregular bleeding during menstruation

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor and discuss the possibility of ovarian cancer. Ignoring symptoms will allow the disease to progress untreated.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

If your doctor suspects that you have ovarian cancer, you’ll undergo a series of testing procedures to make a conclusive diagnosis. Diagnostic attempts will begin with the least invasive options and progress as necessary.

A conclusive diagnosis may involve the following procedures:

  • Pelvic exam
  • Imaging
  • Blood tests
  • Diagnostic surgery
  • DNA testing

Diagnostic procedures will vary and may depend on the extent to which cancer has progressed. Once a doctor has confirmed that ovarian cancer is present, the patient will then be assigned a rating of stage 1 through stage 4. The stage of cancer indicates how far it has spread throughout the body.

Treatment options for ovarian cancer depend on the stage and how far cancer has progressed and include:

  • Surgery to remove ovaries or uterus
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Palliative care

The treatment suggested by your doctor will depend on the stage and location of cancer, as well as other relevant health factors that might impact treatment outcomes.

Lawsuits Against Johnson & Johnson

Perhaps the best-known talcum powder manufacturer in the country is Johnson & Johnson. The company, also known as J&J, has been selling its well-known talcum powder since 1980. Over 38,000 lawsuits have been filed against J&J for health issues and deaths related to its talc-based powder products.

In addition to the complaint of ovarian cancer in women, the carcinogenic effects extend to the risk of lung cancer when the powder is inhaled. Lawsuits against J&J center around an increased risk of ovarian cancer, lung cancer, other forms of cancer, and other health issues.

In addition to the health concerns linked to Johnson & Johnson products, the company has been accused of being aware of the presence of asbestos in its products for many years and continued to market and sell those products to consumers.

The allegation is that rather than making changes to its product, J&J responded by hiding the fact that its talc was contaminated by asbestos. Ongoing investigations indicate that these claims may be true. 

The first lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for cancer caused by the company’s baby powder was filed in 2009. Since then, billions in jury verdicts have been awarded to consumers who have taken action against the company over claims of illness linked to its talc-based products.

In June 2021, the company fought to have a $2 billion jury verdict and judgment overturned. Their attempts were denied by the United States Supreme Court, and the judgment was disbursed among the 20 women represented in the lawsuit.

Only in 2020 did Johnson & Johnson finally agree to discontinue the production of talc-based baby powder.

The Lanier Law Firm’s Successful Ovarian Cancer
Cases Against Johnson & Johnson

The Lanier Law Firm has been on the front lines of legal actions against Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products. Attorney Mark Lanier has been featured in Reuters and The New York Times articles investigating Johnson & Johnson’s role in asbestos-laced talc and the dire health ramifications of the company’s products. 

In July 2018, The Lanier Law Firm secured a $4.69 billion verdict for 22 women and their families. The winning lawsuit showed that decades of using Johnson & Johnson baby powder had caused ovarian cancer in the women. It made history as the first jury verdict affirming the link between asbestos-laced talcum powder and ovarian cancer. 

Following the jury verdict and judgment by the Court, The Lanier Law Firm continued representing the victims of Johnson & Johnson as the company sought to have the verdict overturned. The firm successfully fought back against J&J’s attempts to evade responsibility in the Missouri Appellate Court in 2020 and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2021.

With a winning track record of billions of dollars awarded to victims of Johnson & Johnson’s asbestos-laced talc products, The Lanier Law Firm is well-poised to represent additional victims of the company’s hazardous products.

The legal team at The Lanier Law Firm knows that these prior successes aren’t the end; they’re just the beginning of justice being served to the victims of Johnson & Johnson’s deceitful and dangerous business practices.

As more women and their families realize that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder might be the cause of their ovarian cancer, they should know they aren’t alone.

The Lanier Law Firm has proven it knows just what to do to hold Johnson & Johnson accountable for the damage done to its victims. If you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer and has a history of long-term use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products, you may be entitled to compensation.

The legal team at The Lanier Law Firm can advise you on whether you have a case for compensation against Johnson & Johnson.

Contact The Lanier Law Firm today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

$4.69 BILLION

VERDICT

ST. LOUIS JURY RETURNS $4.69 BILLION VERDICT IN FIRST TRIAL LINKING BABY POWDER, ASBESTOS AND OVARIAN CANCER

$4.69 BILLION

VERDICT

ST. LOUIS JURY RETURNS $4.69 BILLION VERDICT IN FIRST TRIAL LINKING BABY POWDER, ASBESTOS AND OVARIAN CANCER

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