Talcum Powder Lawsuit - Ovarian Cancer Link

Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder was found responsible for ovarian cancer

Last Updated:  September 29, 2020

For over a century women in the United States have been using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Talc on a regular basis for feminine hygiene reasons. J&J have known for many years and studies found that there may be a link between the talc powder and ovarian cancer but they chose to hide this critical information from the public.

What is a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

In recent years Johnson and Johnson has faced a series of multi-billion dollar lawsuits claiming that talc travels into the ovaries and has caused many women from all over the country, Texas, Florida and many more states to develop ovarian cancer after regular use of the powder.

New studies have found links between cosmetic talc and a rare form of cancer, mesothelioma. Such reports could strengthen current and future cases against J&J.

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Talcum Powder Can Contain Asbestos

Asbestos and Talcum Powder

Talc, the main ingredient in talcum powder, is a naturally occurring mineral. It’s often found alongside asbestos in the earth, which can lead to asbestos contamination in talc. This makes even small amounts of talcum powder dangerous. Consumers are unable to detect asbestos in talcum powder; they must rely on proper testing and transparency from companies to know they are using a safe product. 

Like talc, asbestos is naturally occurring, but is classified as a known carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US National Toxicology Program (NTP). When asbestos enters the body, it can cause scarring and inflammation, which can eventually lead to cancer. Even in very small amounts and with very limited exposure, some people develop cancer from asbestos.

Because it can be dangerous in small amounts, no level of asbestos exposure is safe. When inhaled, it can cause a type of cancer called mesothelioma. While there are some mesothelioma lawsuits related to talcum powder asbestos, there are many more lawsuits related to ovarian cancer. In recent lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson has been accused of marketing baby powder to women for decades, all the while knowing it contained dangerous talcum powder that was often contaminated with asbestos. 

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Studies that Found a Link Between Talc and Ovarian Cancer

The idea that talcum powder is related to ovarian cancer is not a new one, and it’s not solely based on anecdotal evidence, either. Studies dating back to the 1970’s have found connections between ovarian cancer and talcum powder use.

  • A 1971 study out of Wales found talc particles deeply embedded in ovarian and cervical cancer tumors. This study sparked an interest for scientists to further study the relationship between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
  • A 1982 talcum powder ovarian cancer study of 430 women made a connection between ovarian cancer and genital talc use. The study found that women who used talc on sanitary pads and on their genitals were more than three times more likely to develop ovarian cancer when compared to women who didn’t use talcum powder.
  • In 1999, a study published in the International Journal of Cancer found such a strong link between talc dusting and ovarian cancer that the authors wrote, “We conclude that there is a significant association between the use of talc in genital hygiene and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer that, when viewed in perspective of published data on this association, warrants more formal public health warnings.”
  • Multiple studies, including one conducted by researchers at Harvard, found that genital talcum powder use increased women’s risk of ovarian cancer. The increased risk found in the studies was around 30%.
  • In total, there have been at least 16 case-control studies that have similarly demonstrated a link between ovarian cancer and dusting talc powder in the genital area.

The results of these studies have been a catalyst for many women to think about the cause of their ovarian cancer. While they don’t unequivocally prove talcum powder causes cancer, they are enough to raise suspicion.

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Can Using Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

It is much more difficult for scientists to prove that something causes cancer than it is for them to show that there is a correlation, or link, between something and cancer. That being said, multiple studies mentioned above show that there is a very strong correlation between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. 

In addition to these, one study published by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine even found a link between talcum powder use and mesothelioma, which is known to be caused by asbestos. Emerging research is also finding a link between talcum powder use and uterine cancer. A study published in 2019 found a positive connection between using talc and developing uterine cancer. 

Although the connection between cancer and talc has not been completely proven, the link between asbestos and cancer, however, is very clear. Many people are filing lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson for selling and marketing a dangerous product that was known to contain asbestos. 

3 Things You Should Know Before Joining The Lawsuit

1. When was talc discovered to cause ovarian cancer

It has been reported that Johnson & Johnson talcum powder tested positive for asbestos numerous times between 1971-2003. J&J purposefully hid this information from women across the world and the data was revealed only in 2018 when court discovered internal corporate memos.

2. Why using baby talcum powder for feminine hygiene can cause Injuries

The powder contains the chemical compound talc and since 1971 they have known that their talc contains trace amounts of asbestos. Asbestos is a known carcinogen (cancer causing chemical) and regular exposure to the skin or inhaling through the lungs can cause cancer.

3. How to join the Talc settlement

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after 2005 and used Baby Powder for feminine hygiene, you should take a short survey about the criteria of the case. A support member will reach out to you and will help you during all the process. 

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Women From New York To Texas and California Were Affected By Talc Ovarian Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society "21,750 women will be diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2020". It was found that half of the women that are diagnosed in the US are over the age of 63 years.

Johnson & Johnson had dropped a few hints about its knowledge of the dangerous talc side effects and possible asbestos contamination in courts for several decades. After a recent investigation, the company was forced to recall 33,000 bottles of baby powder due to asbestos contamination in 2019 until they finally stopped selling talcum powder in American and Canadian markets in May 2020

As of June 2020, there are more than 19,000 open cases of talc and ovarian cancer link that are pending against the company. The talc settlement amounts and the payout for women can be as high as 2.1 billions dollars like the recent ruling of the Missouri Court of Appeal to 22 women. This the next step after a Missouri jury awarded in July 2018, $550 million to and a further $4.1 billion in punitive damages.

Johnson and Johnson Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer

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Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlements and Updates

Although many people are curious as to how much settlements are for talcum powder lawsuits it is impossible to give exact numbers. However there are have been some recent Johnson and Johnson settlement amounts for talcum powder lawsuits that have been made public and this can help people understand the range they may be given.

  • October 2020 - Johnson and Johnson agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle over 1,000 lawsuits stating that the company’s baby powder causes cancer. This marks the first time the company has settled a bulk of cases and not individual suits
  • June 2020 - an appellate court in Missouri upheld more than $2 billion in damages against Johnson & Johnson, saying the company knew there was asbestos in its baby powder
  • May 2020 - Johnson & Johnson announced it would end the sale of talc-based baby powder in North America. Despite this, however, sales of the product would continue in the UK and the rest of the world
  • January 2020 - News emerged of J&J settling a case for over $2 million in Oakland, California. The payout, which was awarded to an Irish woman who had claimed to develop cancer after using asbestos-tainted baby powder, is one of the rare cases were J&J has decided to settle.
Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Why are people going after Johnson & Johnson?

Johnson and Johnson isn’t the only company to make talcum powder, but they are the reason many people have filed a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit. For decades, they sold and marketed their talcum powder products, primarily to women. Thousands of those women who used J &J talcum powder on their genital area later developed ovarian cancer

In 2018, a judge released internal documents from Johnson & Johnson that revealed the company was aware that their talcum powder sometimes contained asbestos. Their talc tested positive for asbestos numerous times between 1971 and 2003, yet they didn’t make this information public, and they continued to market to women.

In the 1980’s, consumers began to put Johnson & Johnson under pressure to issue a warning about the potential for asbestos contamination in their talcum baby powder. However, the level of possible contamination was said to be too low, and the FDA did not require Johnson and Johnson to issue a warning.

It wasn’t until 2006 that the World Health Organization classified talcum powder as a possible carcinogen when used in the genital area. For years consumers and activists fought for the FDA to require Johnson & Johnson to put warning labels on their talcum powder, but they were unsuccessful.

Only this year did the company finally act and it removed their Talcum Based Bay Powder from the North American Market.

Thousands of people have filed lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson because:

  • They knowingly sold a defective product that contained asbestos.
  • They knew their talcum powder contained asbestos, which is a known carcinogen.
  • They failed to warn members of the medical community as well as the general public that their product was defective.
  • Not only did they sell this defective product, but they clearly marketed it to women, convincing them they needed the product.
  • According to a special report from Reuters, Johnson & Johnson marketed talcum powder specifically to African American and overweight women even after the World Health Organization (WHO) classified it as possibly carcinogenic.


Johnson and Johnson was deliberately deceptive about their talcum powder products. This has led to many people seeking justice for harm that may have come to them or a loved one due to the company’s deception.

Choose The Right Attorney For You

Companies like Johnson & Johnson generally have vast resources to spend on defending itself, so if you are looking for a talcum lawyer to discuss your case, you should ensure that you hire an expert lawyer from an established legal firm.

It is highly important to do history check for similar cases and a solid success rate in previous cases in medical litigation. We can help you sign on a contingency agreement so you will not have to pay any out of pocket money during all the process.

You will have to pay ONLY if you get compensation and the payment will be a percentage of your compensation payment. This is a No-Risk action and many women choose it. Good Luck.

Companies like Johnson & Johnson generally have vast resources to spend on defending itself, so if you are looking for a lawyer to discuss your case, you should ensure that you hire one that has experience trying similar cases and cases of similar magnitude. In addition, any lawyer you hire should have a solid success rate in previous cases and expertise in medical litigation. Select Justice can help you find lawyers that best suit your specific needs of this case.

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