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Is There a Link between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer?

Monday, January 30, 2017By Richard Alexander

With all the stories in the news about a possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, it can be hard to know who is telling the truth. Many of us have used talcum powder for years, feeling that it was a safe product, passed down to us often from our parents, and safe to use—even on babies!

Several years ago, studies started emerging that seemed to show a connection between talc powder and women suffering from ovarian cancer. Frightened by this unexpected turn of events, many of us stopped using this once-safe product, worried that we could actually contract cancer from it. Many turned to alternative products, such as corn starch, to keep skin dry and fresh.

The concern is that “talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary.”

The American Cancer Society’s review of the science is mixed. Some studies seem to show a small increase in risk while others do not. The Society also reviewed the conclusions of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which concluded that the use of baby powder in the genital area was “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

In lawsuits, some juries are also concluding, after reviewing the evidence, that some women have suffered from ovarian cancer as a result of applying talc powder to their genital areas. Three Missouri juries have awarded major money damages to injured women against Johnson and Johnson, to the tune of about $197 million.

In addition to potentially causing ovarian cancer, inhaling some types of talcum powder (those that contain asbestos) can definitely cause cancer. It’s important to know that the baby powder sold for use on the human body does not include asbestos.

If you or someone you know suffers from a disease that resulted from a consumer product, such as talcum powder, contact the personal injury lawyers at the Alexander Law Group, LLP or call 888.777.1776. All calls are free and confidential.

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