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What You Need to Know About Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Paul LLP is currently representing women and families in lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson alleging its products cause ovarian cancer.

Evidence shows that regular use of talcum powder may cause ovarian cancer.

If you or a loved one regularly use talcum powder and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you should speak to an attorney immediately because you may be entitled to significant monetary damages. Learn more below.

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Does talcum powder cause cancer?

Talcum powder can cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles end up in the ovary, regardless if they get there through application of powder to the genital area directly or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms.

Once in the ovary, particles from the talcum powder can stay there for decades. This can cause inflammation in tissue, and when chronic, contribute to development of ovarian cancer.

There are lawsuits being filed across the country against Johnson & Johnson regarding its talcum powder products including Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. In those lawsuits, juries have held Johnson & Johnson liable for its bad actions and won substantial verdicts after showing that talcum powder causes cancer. Recently there have been 3 cases go to trial and in all three the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs. The verdicts have ranged in recoveries of $55 Million Dollars to $72 Million Dollars.

We are currently representing women who have ovarian cancer after long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower and families who have lost their loved ones to ovarian cancer after using these products. Recently, Paul LLP’ efforts to educate women on this very serious issue was featured in HerLife Magazine.

The story is available here: Spotlight: Paul LLP Attorneys Seek to Protect Women [use this link:]


I used talcum powder, am I going to get ovarian cancer?

In one recent talcum powder lawsuit, an expert estimated that about 1,500 women die each year because of cancer related to talcum powder. As a result, if you have used talcum powder on a regular basis, you should consult with your doctor about your risk of getting ovarian cancer.


I may have cancer from talcum powder. What should I do?

You need to contact an attorney immediately. If you wait too long, you may not be allowed to file a lawsuit due to various laws. If your cancer was caused by talcum powder, you deserve justice and an attorney can help you fight back.


What products are at issue?

Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products are primarily at issue. Baby Powder was introduced by Johnson & Johnson in 1893. Ever since the early days, the company has marketed its “baby” products to adults, using taglines such as “Best for the Baby – Best for You.” In the 1970s, Johnson & Johnson promoted “family usage,” resulting in a growing adult market share for the company based on the perception that baby products are milder than others. In fact, by 1985, approximately 70% of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder sold in the U.S. was used by adults.

Shower to Shower products were introduced by Johnson & Johnson nearly 50 years ago. They have been marketed to females as fragrances to keep you feeling fresh and clean. To this day, Johnson & Johnson still uses the tag line “Just a sprinkle a day helps keep odor away” for these products. In the past several years, Johnson & Johnson sold its Shower to Shower product line to Valeant Pharmaceuticals.


What does the scientific research show?

As early as 1971, a study published by the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that 75 percent of the ovarian tumor tissue studied contained particles of talc. Since then, numerous studies have suggested that talc particles can migrate from the vaginal area to the ovaries, where they embed within the tissue.

In 1982, the first epidemiologic study was performed, and it revealed a 92% increased risk for ovarian cancer associated with talc use.

While studies are still being done, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, has classified the genital use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”


Why didn’t manufacturers of talcum powder do anything?

Rather than warn consumers of the growing science suggesting that talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer, companies such as Johnson & Johnson actually tried to increase sales of their talc products.

Johnson & Johnson’s internal documents were a big part of the recent cases resulting in verdicts in the millions of dollars for victims who died of ovarian cancer or lost a family member to ovarian cancer.

One juror reported that “All their internal documents show that they knew talc caused ovarian cancer, and actively undertook to hide the truth, not only from the governmental regulators but from the public.” He said it was clear from the memos that Johnson & Johnson spent 30 years preparing for litigation over the risk. One document even talked about declining product use because of increased awareness of the health risk, and how to grow the franchise by targeting blacks and Hispanics as the highest users of talcum powder.

Importantly, the AP reported that a 1997 internal memo from Johnson & Johnson’s medical consultant warned that “anybody who denies” the risk of using talc and ovarian cancer is “denying the obvious in the fact of all evidence to the contrary.”


Were you diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder?

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