Most people don't realize that there is a potential cancer-causing
product lurking in their medicine cabinets. Yet, multiple studies dating
back to 1908 have shown that
talcum powder, specifically Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and
Shower to Shower brand powder, may actually cause ovarian cancer in women. According to a report in
Epidemiology, women who routinely applied talcum powder to their underwear, sanitary
napkins, or anywhere near their genitals, had a 33% greater chance of
being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
The latest study was conducted by researchers at the Obstetrics and Gynecology
Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. There,
researchers studied 2,041 women with ovarian cancer and 2,100 similar-aged
women who used hormone therapy but did not have ovarian cancer. They focused
specifically on how much talcum powder these women used. Women who used
talcum powder on their genitals on a routine basis to ward off odor and
absorb moisture had a 33% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. The
lead author of the study, Daniel Cramer, first reported a link between
talcum powder and ovarian cancer as early as 1982. He has been lobbying
aggressively for warning labels on talcum powder for years. Despite several
dozen studies, Johnson & Johnson has refused to place a warning on
In 2013, a Harvard study found that genital talcum powder application was
associated with a small-to-moderate increase in borderline and invasive
ovarian cancers. They also noted that avoiding this risk was easy –
and something that would seem a wise precautionary policy. Since 1982,
more than 20 epidemiological studies have found increased rates of ovarian
cancer in women who routinely use talcum powder for genital hygiene purposes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20,000 women
are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year in the United States, and
14,500 die from this disease. Yet, despite the mounting evidence, the
CDC still has not listed talcum powder as a risk factor for ovarian cancer.
However, the World Health Organization's International Agency for
Research on Cancer did classify talc as possibly carcinogenic when used
in the genital region in 2006.
Lawsuits Increase & Jury Awards Escalate
In March 2016, a jury in St. Louis ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay
$72 million in damages to a family whose loved one died of ovarian cancer
last year after using their product (Case No. 1422-CC09012-01, Circuit
Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri). It was the first time a jury
awarded financial damages to plaintiffs in a talcum powder ovarian cancer
lawsuit. The jury awarded the family $10 million in compensatory damages
and $62 million in punitive damages for Johnson & Johnson's failure
to warn women about the dangers of talcum products. A jury in North Dakota
similarly found that Johnson’s Baby Powder increased the risk of
ovarian cancer to a woman who sued them.
To date, Johnson & Johnson has been named a defendant in more than
1,200 talcum powder lawsuits.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or fallopian
tube cancer and you used talcum powder on a regular basis,
contact our firm today. One of our experienced
product liability attorneys will evaluate your case and help you determine if you are entitled to
To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a
free consultation, call the Philadelphia dangerous drug lawyers at Golomb & Honik, P.C.
today at (215) 278-4449.We accept cases nationwide.