Talcum Powder and Cancer
Talc, the mineral from which talcum powder is derived, is used in many hygiene products and cosmetics. Unfortunately, research now shows links between talcum powder and deadly ovarian cancer.
What is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is a white, fluffy powder that is derived from magnesium silicate (also known as talc), a mineral that is made up of oxygen, silicon, and magnesium. When talc is finely ground, it helps to reduce friction and is excellent at absorbing moisture on the body. For this reason, it is commonly used in makeup, hygiene products, and other products.
Over the past 40 years, however, there have been many questions about the risks of using talcum powder over extended periods of time. Healthcare experts are now saying that talc is linked to deadly ovarian cancer and other medical issues.
Uses of Talcum Powder
Talcum powder has been used for generations by moms dusting the diaper area of their babies to treat and prevent diaper rash and friction. Developers of many skin care products have used talc in face powder, eye shadow, and blush. You can also find talc in foot powder, baby powder, medicated powder, and deodorant. It has even been used in sanitary pads and incontinence products to absorb odor and control moisture.
Safety Issues of Talcum Powder
Talc has been linked to respiratory problems, most especially in babies. Because of this, using talcum powder on babies is discouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics and many pediatric physicians.
Because of the very fine particles, talcum powder can be easily inhaled if it is in the air. This can cause wheezing, shallow breathing, fast breathing, and acute lung irritation, known as “talcosis.”
Extended exposure to talc can also cause pneumonia and aggravate asthma symptoms in sensitive patients. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that people who experience long-term exposure to talc, such as millers and miners, have an increased risk of chronic respiratory disease and lung cancer because of the long-term inhalation of airborne talc dust.
Feminine Hygiene and Talc
Feminine hygiene products and body powders with talc have been heavily marketed over the years as a preventative tool for vaginal odor. Data that first came out in the 70s has linked the use of powder in the female genital area to dangerous health issues, including ovarian cancer. When talc is applied to the vaginal area, particles can make their way through the vagina, into the uterus, and then into the fallopian tubes straight to the ovaries. Talc in the ovaries can take many years to dissolve. Research data has shown this can cause serious inflammation.
The Cancer Prevention Research journal published data in 2013 that showed ladies who used talcum powder in their genital area were expected to have a 20-30% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who did not use it.
Talcum Powder Lawsuits
Many lawsuits have been filed against the makers of baby powders and body powders that are talc-based. Plaintiffs have alleged that Johnson & Johnson has known about the risks of ovarian cancer for many decades and failed to warn consumers.
A talcum powder lawsuit was filed in Illinois alleging that Johnson & Johnson continued marketing their baby powder as a safe product for women and babies despite the substantial amount of evidence that linked their product with the increased risk of cancer.
If you or a loved one has had long-term exposure to talc or talc-based products and have suffered a severe medical issue, you need to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In Illinois and Missouri, CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm for a free case evaluation.