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Johnson & Johnson Talcum Baby Powder Might Be A Cause For Ovarian Cancer

Yesterday, Johnson & Johnson as a company has lost another lawsuit in California, a lawsuit where a woman claims that Johnson & Johnson talcum powder, can cause ovarian cancer.


Eva Echeverria, 63, of Los Angeles, was among seven women who filed lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court in July 2016.

This is a third lawsuit, that this company loses. Now the questions that arise are, how secure are all the talc based products that this company and others produce? If yes, what is the reason and what these talc based products really consist?

The Los Angeles superior court ruled in favor of California resident Eva Echeverria, and ordered the company to pay $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages.

The alleged cancer risks linked to its talc-based products have embroiled the company in over 4,800 similar claims in the United States, Fortune reported.

There are several studies which had a main focus of determining if talcum baby powder can really cause ovarian cancer. The results from these studies have been inconclusive.

According to the American Cancer Society, one of the main things taken in consideration is the whether the probability of any woman to get ovarian cancer increases with the particles of talcum entering through the vagina, to the uterus and Fallopian tubes in different ways.

What is Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction. This makes it useful for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes. It is widely used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and adult body and facial powders. As well as in a number of other consumer products.

In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled (see Asbestos). All talcum products used in homes in the United States have been asbestos-free since the 1970s.

What scientist and health organizations say about this?

While the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is a part of the World Health Organization, has stated that talcum powders containing asbestos(a substance that was earlier used in talcum powders but has been banned since 1970s in the U.S.) is “possibly carcinogenic to humans; the National Toxicology Program, formed by  collaboration of governmental agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration has not fully reviewed talc (with or without asbestos) as a possible carcinogen.

“Several studies have suggested that using talcum powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer by 30 to 60 per cent. However, these studies interviewed women who already had ovarian cancer and asked them to remember whether they used talcum powder a long time ago.

Their memories might not have been accurate, and they might have mistakenly thought they used more talc than they did in an effort to explain their cancer,” states an article on iHeard. This site is run by Cancer Society in Australia.

The company has lost four out of five similar lawsuits. A St. Louis, Missouri jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $110.5 million to a woman, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and had used talcum powder.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Its major goal is to identify causes of cancer.

  • IARC classifies talc that contains asbestos as “carcinogenic to humans.”
  • Based on the lack of data from human studies and on limited data in lab animal studies, IARC classifies inhaled talc not containing asbestos as “not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans.”
  • Based on limited evidence from human studies of a link to ovarian cancer, IARC classifies the perineal (genital) use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Proven or not try to stay away from talcum powder, there are many other ways you can keep your secret places dry and odorless.


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