For years, talcum powder has been marketed as a mild and effective personal care product. Because of this, many women have used talcum powder to care for their feminine hygiene.
Unfortunately, this product may not be as safe as we were led to believe. Evidence suggests that using talcum powder in this manner may cause ovarian cancer. What's more, manufacturers may have known of this risk but concealed it from the public.
$72 million verdict reached
In February 2016, a jury in Missouri awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer. The suit alleged that the cancer was linked to the woman's use of two Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products: Baby Powder and Shower to Shower.
This is the first time a jury has awarded damages in a lawsuit alleging cancer caused by talcum powder.
The woman used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower to care for her feminine hygiene for over 35 years.
The link between talcum powder and cancer
Johnson & Johnson, of course, denies that its products are dangerous or linked to cancer. But there is mounting evidence pointing the other way.
The World Health Organization categorizes talc used for feminine hygiene as "possibly carcinogenic to humans." Some researchers have found that talc could be responsible for up to 10 percent of ovarian cancers.
Are you at risk?
Researchers continue to study the link between talc and ovarian cancer. In the meantime, you have to wonder - how many women have inadvertently put themselves at risk thinking that they were using a completely safe product? If manufacturers knew that using talcum powder for feminine hygiene could cause cancer, why didn't they warn people?
Unfortunately, there is a long history in this country of companies hiding risks, and of consumers being hurt as a result. Holding these companies accountable is the best way to prevent them from hurting others in the future.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it is worth your time to schedule a consultation with a lawyer experienced in handling defective products cases. Consultations are free, and the lawyer can help you understand your rights and options under the law.