Talcum Powder Lawsuits Establish Ovarian Cancer Risks

by Charles Miller

Lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson over the company’s talcum baby powder products have established a link between talc and an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson is currently facing about 1,800 lawsuits filed on behalf of women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, or other talcum power products sold by the company.

The first evidence linking talcum powder and ovarian cancer was published in 1971, when researchers in Wales discovered talc particles embedded in the tumors of women with ovarian cancer or cervical cancer. Since then, numerous additional studies have suggested a link between the use of talcum powder products for feminine hygiene and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

In 1982, a Harvard study compared the histories of 215 women with ovarian cancer to another ground that had not been diagnosed with the disease. The study found that women who used talcum powder were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer; women who used talcum powder products on their genitals or sanitary pads were three times more likely to have developed ovarian cancer. At least 10 addition studies have confirmed the increased risk of ovarian cancer among talcum powder users suggested by the Harvard study.

A 2013 study by the journal Cancer Prevention Research pooled the results of studies such as these involving about 20,000 women. The study found that talcum powder users were 24% more likely to develop ovarian cancer, meaning that talcum powder could be the cause of about one in every five to six cases of ovarian cancer.

Despite the growing body of evidence pointing to a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, federal health authorities have not acted to issue a warning label concerning the potential cancer risks of these products. In 1994 and again in 2008, the Cancer Prevention Coalition unsuccessfully petitioned the FDA to issue warnings about the potential link between talcum baby powder products and ovarian cancer. Although Johnson & Johnson’s suppliers issued a warning about the health risks of talc in 2006, the company chose not to add a similar warning to Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, or its other talcum baby powder products.

In February 2016, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer linked to her use of talcum baby powder products sold by the company for feminine hygiene. Johnson & Johnson was hit with a second consecutive verdict in May, when the company was ordered to pay $55 million to a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and underwent a hysterectomy after using Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other talcum powder products.

Talcum Powder Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Women with Ovarian Cancer

Women who used talcum baby powder products in their genital area for feminine hygiene and who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer may qualify to file a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson or other companies that sold products containing talcum powder. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney about your case to learn more about your legal options.

For more information about the talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and to find out whether you may qualify to file a case, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us visiting the free case evaluation form at the top of this page and answering a few simple questions to get started.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.