Talcum Powder FAQ

What is talcum powder?

Talcum powder refers to products made from the mineral talc. Talcum powder products are also frequently marketed as baby power or body powder products.

What are the ingredients in talcum powder?

The main ingredient in talcum powder products is talc, a naturally occurring mineral that consists of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talc is the world’s softest mineral, so it can be easily cut or carved. When talc is crushed into a powder, it is known as talcum powder.

What is talcum powder used for?

Talcum powder can be used in a wide variety of applications, both for personal use and in medical or industrial settings. In manufacturing, talc is often used as a filler in the production of plastics, ceramics, paint, or paper. Talc can also be used as a lubricant, such as on latex gloves. Because of its ability to absorb moisture, talc is also found in many cosmetic products, including makeup and antiperspirants. Talcum powder products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower are used for feminine hygiene, to absorb moisture and prevent body odor, or to prevent diaper rash in babies.

Is talcum powder the same as baby powder?

Although most baby powder brands are still made with talc, some manufacturers have begun offering products that use alternative ingredients to absorb moisture. Some of the talc-free baby powder products that are sold in the U.S. are made with cornstarch, kaolin clay, tapioca starch, baking soda, arrowroot powder, or bentonite clay.

Is talcum powder safe?

Although talcum powder, baby powder, and body powder products are used by millions of Americans, evidence has suggested that there may be some health risks associated with the use of products containing talc. Because talc often occurs naturally in the ground near asbestos – a naturally occurring mineral that has been linked to mesothelioma cancer – until the 1970s, consumers who used talc could face an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. More recent studies have suggested that the use of talcum powder products may increase the risk for women of developing ovarian cancer or uterine cancer.

Does talcum powder cause cancer?

A study published in 1971 that revealed talc particles embedded in the tumors of women with ovarian cancer was the first study linking talcum powder to an increased cancer risk. In 2016, a study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that women who used talcum powder for feminine hygiene in their vaginal area, on sanitary napkins, tampons, or their underwear were 33% more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Another study published that same year found that African American women who used talcum powder products were 44% more likely to be diagnosed with the disease.

Another study – published in 2010 by the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention – found that postmenopausal women who used talcum powder products for feminine hygiene faced a 21% increased risk of being diagnosed with uterine cancer. Frequent talcum powder users were 24% more likely to develop uterine cancer, the study also found.

How does talcum powder cause cancer?

When talcum powder is used in the vaginal area for feminine hygiene, talc particles can travel into the body through the fallopian tubes. If these talc particles become embedded near the ovaries or uterus, they can cause irritation. Over time, this irritation may lead to ovarian cancer or uterine cancer.

Have any lawsuits against talcum powder manufacturers been filed?

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson or other talcum powder manufacturers on behalf of women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer or uterine cancer after using talc products for feminine hygiene. These lawsuits have alleged that Johnson & Johnson and other companies knew about the health risks of talcum powder for decades, but failed to properly warns users about the dangers they may face.

Have any verdicts been reached in lawsuits filed by talcum powder users?

In February 2016, a jury in St. Louis awarded a $72 million verdict to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other body powder products sold by Johnson & Johnson. In May 2016, another jury in St. Louis awarded $55 million in damages to a woman who underwent a total hysterectomy after using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products for feminine hygiene.

Am I eligible to file a talcum powder lawsuit?

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or uterine cancer after using talcum powder products, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For more information about whether you qualify to take legal action, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following this link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions about your case to get started.