Studies show link between the use of baby powder and the development of ovarian cancer.
The possible link between baby powder (talcum powder) and cervical cancer has been a controversial one for quite some time. The information linking the two together wasn’t made available to the public even though the information was available in the 80s. It is only since the turn of the century that women have begun filing class action lawsuits against manufacturer, Johnson and Johnson, in an effort to get the information out to the public and let women make up their own minds whether using baby powder is worth the risk.
UPDATE 08/22/2017: On Monday, a Los Angeles jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s trademark “Johnson’s Baby Powder” on her perineum for decades. (source)
UPDATE: 05/09/2017: On Thursday, a Missouri jury ordered J&J to pay $110 million to a Virginia woman who developed ovarian cancer after decades of using J&J talc-based products for feminine hygiene. (source)
UPDATE: 11/01/2016: For the third time in 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded a multimillion-dollar verdict to a woman who says using Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene caused her to develop ovarian cancer. (source)
One User’s Revelation
Many women have used baby powder as part of their feminine hygiene routine for years without giving it a second thought. Who would think something that is considered safe for babies could possibly be dangerous for a woman? Deane Berg felt the same way until that fateful day in December of 2006 when pathology reports indicated she had Stage III ovarian cancer.
In spite of 25 years as a physician’s assistant, she knew little about the disease, but when she studied the risk factors, she was shocked to discover the only one that applied to her was using talcum powder for feminine hygiene on a regular basis.
She also discovered that a number of tests during the 80s revealed the link between regular use of talcum powder and an increase in the number of cases of ovarian cancer. The evidence didn’t fully support the theory, and certainly didn’t add it to the cause of ovarian cancer. In fact, the results mostly appeared in medical journals and hardly made any impact at all for the public.
After she completed treatment with painful chemotherapy drugs, she filed the first ever lawsuit against the manufacturer. Sadly, even though the jury found Johnson and Johnson guilty of negligence because they failed to warn the public about the potential risk of ovarian cancer, they surprisingly did NOT award any monetary damages in the case!
The Stand of the Companies
The companies believe the statistical associations between the use of talcum powder and the development of ovarian cancer are weak, possibly even the result of bias in the methods researchers used to conduct the study. They don’t believe a casual biological link is possible because there is no proof (according to them) that the talc particles which contain asbestos (the reason for the link in the first place) are able to pass through the genital tract and reach the ovaries and cause malignant tumors. There is no causal link, they argue, so warnings were unnecessary. Since they dispute the existence of the link, they feel that they are not guilty of withholding information from the public.
While the companies may deny the association, Berg stated she had an attorney order a tumor analysis, and they found particles of talc inside. In spite of this information, medical experts who testified on behalf of Johnson & Johnson claim it resulted from contamination in the hospital and not due to talc from the use of baby powder.
Have You Developed Ovarian Cancer?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and believe that baby powder could have played a role, speak with a lawyer about the possibility of bringing a damage suit against the manufacturer.
Rasansky Law Firm has experienced personal injury lawyers who can investigate your case and explain the options available to you at no cost. For a free consultation, call 1-877-659-2580.