Talcum Powder

Florida Talcum Powder Lawyers

Talcum powder, also known as baby powder, is traditionally used on baby’s bottoms to absorb moisture and prevent diaper rashes. Talcum powder is also applied in the industries of paper making, rubber, food, cosmetics, and plastics, among others. Recently, talcum powder has also been linked to cancer of the lungs or ovaries. Talcum powder often contains asbestos in its natural form, and asbestos has a well-documented history as a cancer causing agent.

Talcum Powder Cancer

Research suggests that if talcum powder becomes airborne, it can potentially contribute to lung cancer if one is exposed to it over a long period of time. People who have long-term exposure to the natural talc fibers, such as talc miners, experience a greater risk from lung cancer. The raw talc can contain asbestos and other minerals. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set limits to occupational exposure for workers to talcum powder.

There is also a lesser known, recently discovered risk of talcum powder users, in women who use talc for personal feminine hygiene. Despite the consumer product being purified talc, a study in Cancer Prevention Research shows that women who apply talcum powder regularly to their intimate feminine places are 20-30 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Talc particles can travel from the vagina, through the uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovary and remain lodged for years, causing inflammation which may lead to cancer cell growth in the ovaries.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer can occur at any age, like most cancers, but is more common in woman over 50. Ovarian cancer generally does not start showing symptoms until the later stages, and is therefore one of the most dangerous cancers for women. Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it spreads to the abdomen and pelvis, at this point is more difficult to treat, and often fatal. While accounting for only 3 percent of cancer among women, it is the leading cause of death for female reproductive system cancer, and the fourth most common cancer death of women in the U.S.

Ovarian cancer symptoms may include:

  • Pelvis or belly pain
  • Frequent and regular bloating
  • Problems eating or feeling full prematurely
  • Difficult menstrual cycles.
  • Urinary problems
  • Unusual weight gain
  • Extreme sleeping difficulty

These symptoms may be common for some women, and do not necessarily indicate ovarian cancer. Some better indicators of these symptoms being caused by ovarian cancer are if they start suddenly, are more intense than normal menstrual or digestive problems, and do not go away. If you or a family member experience one or more of these symptoms almost daily for several weeks, you should consult your doctor. The two most common ovarian cancer screening tests are transvaginal ultrasound, or a blood test.

The Active Class Action Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson is currently involved in two class action lawsuits, for its baby powder and Shower to Shower products being linked to ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers of the risk of ovarian cancer by women who use its talc-based powders regularly. ­It important to contact a reliable, experienced attorney if you or a loved one was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and believe or know it to have been caused by use of talcum powder from Johnson & Johnson’s products, Johnson’s baby powder, and Johnson’s shower to shower.

Reducing Talcum Powder Exposure

To date, there is not reporting of consumer talcum powder causing any cancer aside from ovarian cancer. It also appears that only prolonged use of these products places individuals at a greater risk to develop ovarian cancer. To reduce the risk of ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder use, women should discontinue using it in underwear, on sanitary napkins, or tampons. Cornstarch powders are a safe alternative to talcum-based ones, as they have not been linked to cancer at this time.




Dorota M., Gertig, et. al. “Prospective Study of Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 92.3 (1999): 249-52. Oxford Journals. Oxford University Press. Web. 5 Oct. 2014. <http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/92/3/249.full>.

“Talcum Powder and Cancer.” American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, 13 May 2014. Web. 5 Oct. 2014. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum-powder-and-cancer>.

“Use of Talc-based Powder Increases Ovarian Cancer Risk.” Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Web. 5 Oct. 2014. <http://www.ocrf.org/news/use-of-talc-based-powder-increases-ovarian-cancer-risk>.