Safety Warning: Talcum Powder

Johnson & Johnson was recently ordered to pay $75 Million to a woman who claims the use of their baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder contains the talc product: talcum powder. This case has put a spotlight on the uses and dangers of talc and talcum powders.

A naturally-occurring mineral, talc is mainly composed of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled. However, since the 1970’s home talcum products have been asbestos-free. Most concerns about a link between talcum powder and cancer focus on: (1) long-term exposure to natural talc fibers at work (mostly for talc miners), and (2) female use of talcum powder in the genital area.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has said that talc itself is “not classifiable” as a carcinogenic when inhaled. However, the IARC has classified the genital use of talc as “possibly carcinogenic.” The American Cancer Society has also warned that women should be cautious of using talcum powder in their genital areas, as it has been found to increase the chances of developing ovarian cancer. Use of talc products in the genital area could lead to the particles traveling to the ovaries, causing inflammation – potentially increasing the risk of certain cancers.

In addition to increasing the chances of ovarian cancer when used in the genital areas, talcum powder can cause pelvic or vaginal infections, leading to possible infertility or chronic pelvic pain.

If you believe you or a loved one have developed health problems due to the use of talcum powder products, contact the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at BD&J, PC at (855) 906-3699 for a free consultation.

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