Really, talc use by women may cause cancer? Who would have thought that Johnson & Johnson and other talc companies would ever keep women from knowing that using talc powder might cause them to have ovarian cancer? Ask yourself….would you have let your female family members sprinkle talc powder in their underwear if you knew that it might cause a very aggressive and deadly cancer? Of course you wouldn’t. The risk is not worth the benefit. But companies have made billions of dollars from the women who have made the simple act of using talc powder near their genital area a daily routine.
This case is starting to look like the infamous tobacco cases, or Ford Pinto cases where the corporate big shots knew about the dangers, then hid the studies and downplayed the knowledge that their product potentially had a very serious, if not deadly health side effect. The following facts come from the recent talc lawsuit that resulted in a $72 million verdict against the talc industry.
In 1971, the first study was conducted that suggested an association between talc and ovarian cancer. This study was conducted by Dr. W.J. Henderson and others in Cardiff, Wales. In 1982, the first epidemiological study was performed on talc powder for use in the female genital area. This study was conducted by Dr. Daniel Cramer and others. This study found a 92% increased risk in ovarian cancer with women who reported genital talc use. Shortly after this study was published, Dr. Bruce Semple of Johnson & Johnson came and visited Dr. Cramer about his study. Dr. Cramer advised Dr. Semple that Johnson & Johnson should place a warning on its talcum powders about the ovarian cancer risks so that women can make an informed decision about their health. Since 1982, there have been approximately twenty-two epidemiological studies providing information regarding the association of talc and ovarian cancer. Nearly all of these studies have reported an elevated risk for ovarian cancer associated with genital talc use in women. In 1993, the United States National Toxicology Program published a study on the toxicity of non-asbestiform talc and found clear evidence of carcinogenic activity. Talc was found to be a carcinogen, with or without the presence of asbestos-like fibers.
Is it too much to ask that if a company knows of potentially deadly side effects, that they let the consumers know of the possible danger? The reason why companies don’t do this is an acknowledgment of these studies and data would have sunk the billion dollar talc industry. This looks like another example of companies putting profits over people.
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have used talc powder, we would be glad to have a free consultation with you to evaluate your case.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.