Is Talcum Powder responsiable for your cancer? Let our lawyers help you.

If you used Talcum Powder products by Johnson & Johnson and experienced Ovarain Cancer you may qualify for financial compensation.

The Talcum Powder Lawsuit — when cancer has to be included as a side effect

In 2014, the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson became the subject of one of the largest consumer advocacy litigations in history. The prosecution alleged the company knowingly caused the spread of ovarian cancer through their best-selling talcum powder cosmetics, Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower.

The proceedings began in 2009 after a South Dakota resident by the name of Diane Berg decided to file a litigation against J&J’s product stating it was the reason for her ovarian cancer. The defense attorney cited the pharmaceutical company was to blame for gross negligence since it did not warn its consumers anywhere of the high association of cancer from long-term exposure. Diane Berg was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006, at the age of 56, after using the cosmetic talc for more than 30 years. In 2013, Berg was offered a $1.3 million out of court proposal by the pharmaceutical giant, who asked her to settle down her case and to sign a confidentiality clause. But the woman chose to warn the rest of the world about the dangers of the product and kept fighting her battle. In 2016, a jury from South Dakota confirmed that the powder contributed to her cancer, thanks to the combined efforts of the Law Offices of Ronald B. Laba, APC and Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson (1).

Talcum Powder Victims

Several Talcum powder lawsuits have been filed by patients who accused Johnson & Johnson of being responsible for the cancers they developed after exposure to the talc. Many who used the cosmetic products such as baby and adult powders to “freshen” their underwear, in fact, later developed ovarian cancer. According to plaintiff litigations, Johnson and Johnson intentionally sealed classified information about the links between cancer risk after talcum powder exposure. For more than 40 years, they purposely did not warn women of all ages about the risks, hiding all the evidence in their hands (2).

Jacqueline Fox died of the same cancer type in October 2015, after using the Johnson’s Baby Powder for her entire life to help her “stay fresh and clean”. The Saint Louis jury who decided the verdict found the pharmaceutical giant guilty of conspiracy, negligence, and failure to warn women of the increased cancer risk associated with the use of cosmetic talc in the genital area. Their sentence was shocking: Fox’s family was awarded $72 million in compensatory and punitive damages (3). Recently Canada issued a class-action litigation after four women developed ovarian cancer claiming long-term exposure to Johnson’s Baby Powder. This comes after multiple lawsuits emerged in the US.

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The Epidemiological data and the clinical studies

For many years science struggled to found a general consensus on whether a correlation between cancer and talc exposure did exist (7). Many studies found significantly different results, with some reporting an increased risk and others reporting no increase. Researchers’ opportunity to adequately assess the possible correlation has always been complicated by several challenges. The first one is the absence of properly documented medical reports of talc use. All studies must rely exclusively on patients’ self-reporting, generating a strong bias in many observational studies. Quantification of talc dose exposure is also quite complicated. Not only various cosmetics may contain significantly different talc concentrations, but the method through the powder is applied (sprayed, sprinkled, directly application, using swabs, through sanitary diapers, etc.) may substantially affect the quantity that comes in contact with genitals (8).

Since the evidence from case-control studies was mixed at best, in 2006, genital exposure to talc has been classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans (carcinogen group 2B) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (9). However, larger meta‐analyses and cohort analyses have been extensively investigated later to scavenge for a possible correlation, and found substantial increases in the risk factor for ovarian cancer (10). In 2015, a formal systematic analysis published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer found that the of risk ovarian cancer after talc exposure was increased by 30–60% in almost all well‐designed studies (11). Although strong enough evidence to provide a final answer may still be lacking, even a modest increase in risk factor may constitute a potential threat to public health. According to clinical evidence, elimination of talc use could protect more than one-quarter of women who develop ovarian cancer (11). Cornstarch products are often sold at the same price as a good alternative for the genital area, and they have been recommended by the American Cancer Society as absolutely risk-free (6).

How Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

Talc may contain asbestos, which has been classified as a known human carcinogen as it may increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma when inhaled (12). However, purified talcum used in modern cosmetics is now asbestos-free. Thus, no increased risk of lung cancer has been reported (6). Most of the evidence analyzed so far instead, suggest that talcum particles might cause ovarian cancer when they travel inside the genital tract through the uterus and fallopian tubes until they reach the ovaries. Cancer in the ovaries is the gynecologic cancer with the highest mortality rate, mostly because it’s often detected at later stages when prognosis is very poor already (13).

The exact role of talc in carcinogenesis is still unknown. Talcum powder may act by inducing chronic epithelial inflammation of the pelvic area. Talcum-using women who underwent tubal ligation surgery showed a 50% reduction in risk. This result may suggest that stopping the ascension of talc particles to the upper part of the genital tract is, in fact, an effective method to prevent the risk by protecting ovarian epithelium from exposure to inflammants (14). Another possible role of talcum in ovarian carcinogenesis could be its ability to suppress anti-MUC1 antibodies. These antibodies have been, in fact, associated with a lower risk of cancer and a more favourable prognosis. This mechanism does not require direct contact of talc particles with tissues, also (15).

How Much Is My Talcum Powder Case Worth

Letting our Attorneys file a litigation on your behalf is the only way to receive financial compensation for the medical expenses you incurred, but most importantly, it’s a way to bring the pharmaceutical companies who harmed you to justice.

Today there is no known standard settlement amount for Talcum powder cases. Your final settlement amount may vary depending on the types of injuries and your damages, Lawsuits like these takes years to resolve, and our team of Attorneys is working hard to settle your Talcum Powder case.

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