With news reports of women filing lawsuits against the makers of talc products claiming that the products caused them to develop ovarian cancer, consumers are asking, “Does baby powder cause cancer?” Studies suggest that long-term use of talc-based products for feminine hygiene may be linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Affected women and their families may be eligible to file a talcum powder cancer lawsuit and seek compensation for their injuries.
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Why People are Asking, “Does Baby Powder Cause Cancer?”
According to the American Cancer Society, it is important to distinguish between talc that is asbestos-free and talc that contains asbestos, when discussing the link between talcum powder and cancer. Generally speaking, talc containing asbestos can potentially cause cancer after it is inhaled, and it is not allowed to be used in consumer products today. Comparatively, the correlation between talcum powder that does not contain asbestos and cancer is less clear.
When determining whether a substance can cause cancer, researchers usually perform two main types of studies: lab studies and studies in people. The ACS states that lab studies, which exposed hamsters, rats and mice to asbestos-free talc produced mixed results regarding whether the powder could cause cancer. While some of the lab animals developed tumors following exposure to the talc, others did not develop any.
Just like studies with animals have produced mixed results, so have studies on humans that set out to determine if there was a link between talcum powder and cancer. In many of these cases, researchers tried to determine if the powder particles contained on condoms, diaphragms and sanitary napkins could travel to the ovaries and cause ovarian cancer. In some of these studies, the results suggest that the risk of ovarian cancer increases after exposure to talcum powder while in others, no increased risk was shown.
Baby Powder Lawsuits Against Johnson & Johnson
Since there is a potential link to ovarian cancer and the use of products containing talcum powder, some people have filed lawsuits against manufacturers that produce these products. For example, in one case, according to USA Today, the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer claimed that the talcum powder used in feminine hygienic products was a factor in her death, and filed a case against Johnson & Johnson.
Not only did the family claim that talcum powder played a role in the woman’s death, but they also claimed that Johnson & Johnson failed to let consumers know that exposure to talc could be dangerous. Although the manufacturer stated that its products are safe, the jury on this case ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the family of the deceased woman $72 million in damages.
Baby Powder and the FDA
The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act states that with the exception of color additives, all cosmetic products and their ingredients that enter the market do not have to receive approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). However, all products have to be safe for consumers to use for their intended purpose, and they must be labelled in the appropriate manner. Even though the FDA does not require the manufacturers of cosmetic products to provide safety information directly to them, manufacturers are still responsible for ensuring that their products are safe to use.
Although the FDA has not made any official safety announcements regarding the use of talcum powder and its possible link to ovarian cancer, the organization does monitor potential safety problems with products that are currently on a market. However, before any action can be taken, scientific data must reveal that talcum powder is unsafe to use for its intended purpose.
How Can a Baby Powder Cancer Attorney Help?
Product makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a product maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a woman dies as a result of her cancer, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
If the actions of the product maker are malicious or so reckless that intent to harm can be inferred, the responsible party can be liable for punitive damages to punish wrongful conduct and deter similar conduct in the future.
Women who have developed cancer after using talcum powder are encouraged to speak to a talcum powder cancer lawyer to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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