Talcum Powder Class Action Lawsuit

i 3 Table of Contents

Talcum Powder Class Action Lawsuit

There have been over 20 studies that have linked talcum powder to ovarian cancer since the early 1970s. By 2003, there had been studies that found that women using talcum powder were 33 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

Johnson and Johnson, producer of popular talc powders, such as Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, allegedly had known about the cancer risks since 1982 but failed to warn consumers of the dangers.

What is Talcum Powder Made Of?

The main component of talcum powder is a mineral called Talc. Talc is the softest mineral known and has been used for decades in baby powders and other cosmetic products. It both absorbs moisture and reduces friction. These properties, when combined with its softness, makes it an ideal ingredient for face and body powders.

Many popular products, like Johnsons and Johnson’s Baby Powder, use talc as a primary ingredient.

Some plaintiffs have alleged that some of these products contain asbestos as well. Asbestos is known for its ability to cause Mesothelioma, a serious and often fatal, form of cancer.

What are the Potential Health Side Effects of Talc Powder?

For decades, researchers have noted a potential connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Especially women who used talcum powder during ovulation, were over 90% more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

Even though talc is a natural mineral, it is very difficult for the body to remove the particles, especially if they have traveled into the body. Once in the body, inflammation can occur around the particles, then cancerous tumors can form around them.

As early as 1971, studies of ovarian cancer found a large percentage of ovarian tumors had talc particles “deeply embedded.” Over the next three decades, an additional 21 studies were performed on talc powder, and most of these found women who use the product near their genitals had an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Similarly, inhaled talcum powder can cause an increased risk of lung cancer. The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute both consider talc used to be a “risk factor” for cancer.

What are signs that I may have Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian Cancer is a form of cancer that is initiated within the ovaries in the female reproductive system. It’s often difficult to detect until it has spread to the pelvis and abdomen, whereby it is already at a stage where it is difficult to treat. Thus, detecting the cancer while it is still in the ovaries is important as it is at an earlier stage where it is much easier to treat, though it rarely, if at all, displays any clear symptoms. It’s recommended that if you believe you’re at risk of ovarian cancer to talk with your physician on the subject.

Symptoms of later stage ovarian cancer may include the following:

  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • A frequent need to urinate
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Discomfort or pain surrounding the pelvis area
  • Reluctance to eat or feeling full after eating little
  • Unexpected weight loss

Do Talcum Powder Products Have Warning Labels?


Despite the decades of research that talc-based powders may increase the risk of developing cancers, some manufacturers have still not placed warning labels on their products.

Notable Talcum Powder Lawsuits

There are thousands of lawsuits that have been filed against Johnson and Johnson for failing to warn their women about the increasing risks of ovarian cancer when using talc-based products.

In 2013, Deane Berg, a physician’s assistant, filed suit against Johnson and Johnson after regular use of baby powder and developing ovarian cancer. She turned down an over $1 million settlement to take them to court, where Johnson and Johnson was found guilty of fraud, as well as negligence and conspiracy for not warning about the health risks.

In 2017, a jury in St. Louis awarded a massive $110 million to Lois Slemp, age 62. Out of that amount, $105 million was punitive damages. She had used Johnson’s Baby Powder for over 40 years, before developing ovarian cancer that spread to her liver.

Ted Meadows, a lawyer for Ms. Slemp, stated “Once again we’ve shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America. They chose to put profits over people, spending millions in efforts to manipulate scientific and regulatory scrutiny.”

Who Is Eligible for a Class Action Lawsuit?

Anyone who has contracted ovarian cancer after use of talc-based powders, including products such as Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Powder products. Additionally, survivors of ovarian cancer victims can be eligible to receive compensation for their pain, suffering, and other expenses.

What Expenses Can be Recovered?

The lawsuits can provide compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages