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Research indicates that women who use feminine hygiene products containing the mineral, talc, may face an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
The product liability attorneys of Marks & Harrison currently are investigating this issue on behalf of women from across Virginia who may have been unknowingly exposed to this cancer risk for years while using talcum powder products.
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered ovarian cancer after using baby powder or body powder products, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the harm you have suffered, including medical costs and pain and suffering.
Please contact us for a timely, free and confidential consultation. We can review your case and discuss your legal rights and options.
Marks & Harrison serves clients in Richmond and from our offices located throughout Virginia. You can reach us by calling or clicking here. We are ready to go to work for you today.
Has Talc Been Linked to Ovarian Cancer?
Talc is a mineral that is made of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Because it absorbs moisture, it has been used for decades as the main ingredient in talcum powder products such as Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Body Powder and Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet powder.
As Salon.com points out, “about 20 epidemiological studies have found increased rates of ovarian cancer risk for women using talc for hygiene purposes.” This research goes as far back as 1971.
One study published by Harvard Medical School researchers in 2008 in the journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, stated that its analysis of 16 epidemiological studies revealed “an approximately 30 percent increase in risk of total epithelial ovarian cancer with regular genital exposure to talc.”
Based on their analysis of data from two earlier studies, the Harvard researchers identified the “the presence of a significant trend between frequency of talc use and risk of total and serous invasive ovarian cancer.”
As The Telegraph newspaper notes, the researchers found that women who used talc in their genital area on a weekly basis saw their cancer risk increase by 36 percent, while the risk rose by 41 percent among women using it on a daily basis.
Based on this research, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has added talc to its list of 2B agents, meaning that the agency has found the mineral to be “possibly carcinogenic to human beings.”
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed to find strong enough evidence of a causal link between genital talc use and ovarian cancer. As a result, the FDA has required no warnings about the potential risk.
Additionally, the manufacturers of talc products have not voluntarily added warnings, according to Salon.com. Instead, for the most part, the companies have insisted that no causal link exists.
It is important to note that the American Cancer Society (ACS) lists talcum powder among its list of risk factors for ovarian cancer. The ACS notes that, in the past, talcum powder may have been “contaminated with asbestos, a known cancer-causing mineral,” which could have possibly have factored into the cancer rates reported in some studies. However, the ACS notes, asbestos is no longer allowed in baby and body powder products sold in the U.S.
If I Believe I Have Been Impacted, What Steps Should I Take Next?
If you are a woman who has regularly used talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes, you should pay close attention to signs of ovarian cancer. According to the ACS, symptoms include:
- Frequent urination
- Pain in the pelvic and abdominal areas
- Digestive problems.
If these symptoms are persistent – 12 times or more per month – the ACS suggests that you see a gynecologist as soon as possible. When you see the doctor, you should let the doctor known about your history of genital talc use, which can help the doctor to order proper testing.
For instance, in a talcum powder lawsuit that was recently litigated in a federal court in South Dakota, a woman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after she had used baby powder for feminine hygiene purposes for more than 30 years.
In her case, doctors used a scanning electron microscope to analyze her cancer tissue, which revealed the presence of talc particles.
If I Have Been Harmed by Using Talcum Powder, What Are My Legal Options?
In addition to seeing a doctor, you should consult with a lawyer from Marks & Harrison. We can investigate your case, consult with highly qualified medical experts and explore all of your legal options.
Those options may include pursuing a product liability claim against the companies that mined, manufactured and marketed the talcum powder products that were used in your case.
The companies’ liability may be based on designing or manufacturing defective products as well as failing to warn of the potential risk of ovarian cancer associated with genital talc use.
It is important to know that lawsuits currently are being litigated in courts across the country. If your case becomes a part of wider, national litigation, our attorneys will make sure that your rights and interests are fully protected at each stage and that you receive the personalized attention you deserve.
Get Help from a Virginia Mass Tort Talcum Powder Attorney in Richmond
If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from ovarian cancer that may be linked to the use of baby powder or body powder products for feminine hygiene, you should not wait to get legal help.
Protect your rights by reaching out to Marks & Harrison today. Call or connect with us online. We can provide a free consultation from our Richmond office or at any of our firm’s offices located throughout Virginia.
Sources / More Information:
- Talc Use, Variants of the GSTM1, GSTT1, and NAT2 Genes, and Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
- ‘Why Aren’t They Warning Women About It?’ The Toxic Danger in Your Baby Powder, Salon.com
- Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors, American Cancer Society
- South Dakota Jury Ties Talc Powder to Cancer Risk, Rapid City Journal
- Women Warned of Talcum Powder Cancer Risk, The Telegraph