Talcum Powder & Cancer: Key Things To Know
Talcum powder has been the center of people's attention in recent years due to a few high-profile lawsuits involving it. If you're a consumer of talcum powder and you are concerned about its safety risks and how it is linked to cancer, here are some of the things you need to know:
Talc is an ingredient that is linked to cancer
Talc is a mineral that is made up of several elements, mainly magnesium, oxygen, and silicon. Talc is said to be the softest mineral on earth and its softness and silky texture are the main properties that led to it being used in baby powders. Most baby powders are talcum powders – their main ingredient is talc.
There are two kinds of talc – talc that contains asbestos and talc that does not contain asbestos. The talcum powder lawsuits involving Johnson & Johnson involve asbestos-free talc which is what the company uses for their products. Below are the main things to know about talc powder in relation to cancer. At the end of this post, you will also find some talc powder alternatives that you can use if you want to avoid any risk associated with talc powder.
Studies have been done to see check if talcum powder causes cancer
Numerous studies have been done over the years to look for a link between talcum powder use and cancer as far back as 1971. Among these is the use of talcum powder to the genital area. Some cancers associated with this are ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. There have been studies, as well, looking at the possibility of talcum powder causing lung cancer and stomach cancer when inhaled. The ovarian and uterine cancer risk being associated with talcum powder is when it is applied to the genital area. The studies suggest that the talcum powder particles get into the vagina, the uterus, and the fallopian tubes, causing inflammation which eventually develops into cancer tumors.
These studies do not completely confirm the link between talcum powder use and cancer
Only some of the studies show a link between talcum powder use and cancer. Some fail to show any link between talcum powder and cancer. Because of the unclear connection between them, many doctors and health professionals now think it is still best to avoid exposure to talcum powder to possibly lower any cancer risk it may have.
Johnson & Johnson has been asked to pay the plaintiffs in five cases amounting to a total of $724 million
If there is still no clear cancer risk with the use of talcum powder, how come Johnson & Johnson lost several talcum powder lawsuits? The big issue rests in the fact that Johnson & Johnson knew about these studies linking talcum powder and cancer, but failed to put any kind of warning on their products. This possibly makes them liable for negligence for not informing users of their baby powder about the possible risk of ovarian cancer.
There are other powder products that do not contain talc
If you're concerned about the risks of cancer associated with talcum powder use, the best thing to do is to avoid using talcum powder altogether. There are many talc powder alternatives products that are available such as cornstarch-based powders. Alternatively, you may also choose to stop using powder altogether if you are not comfortable with alternatives to talc powder.
If you have been diagnosed by ovarian or uterine cancer and has been using Johnson & Johnson baby powder on your underwear or genital area, it is best to get in touch with a lawyer to consider the possibility of filing a lawsuit.