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Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit
Talc, the softest mineral on the planet, is a metamorphic compound (hydrated magnesium silicate) that is formed at tectonic subduction points and frequently found in the form of soapstone. It is normally fibrous, but can occur as crystals. It is widely used in throughout the world for a variety of products: paper, paint, plastic, ceramics, food additives, and most commonly talcum powder (baby powder). Talc powder is thought desirable for diapers and basketball players’ hands due to its intense drying ability. It has at time been used to keep women’s genital regions dry and clean, but decades-old research has found that such practice is potentially harmful and may lead to ovarian cancer. While much debate surrounds the issue, and more medical research must be done, enough evidence exists that a case against Johnson and Johnson was successfully litigated several years ago for their failure to place warning labels on their talcum powder containers concerning the increased risk of ovarian cancer that stems from talc entering a woman’s body through the genital area.
The Connection Between Ovarian Cancer and Talcum Powder
Studies as far back as 1971 indicated that 75 percent of ovarian cancer tumors examined had talc particles lodged within them. Other studies continued to show a likely link between both ovarian and lung cancer and talc powder, but it has not been until more recent studies and lawsuits that more significant action to protect consumers has been taken.
A 1993 study showed how talc fibers free of asbestos could cause cancerous tumors in rats. The lack of asbestos is important because back in the 1970’s, it was common for small amounts of asbestos to make their way into talc products since both occurred together naturally in mineral deposit mines. Thus it had to be shown that asbestos, which can cause cancer itself, was not simply the problem. Since 1976 regulations were implemented, talc has been rendered quite asbestos free. Women with need for perineal hygiene, the cleaning of the perineum (external genitalia and surrounding skin), are especially at risk of talc-caused cancerous formations. Women recovering from surgery of the rectum or genitals, who have recently given birth, or who use a catheter often need constant perineal care but should not use talc powder in the process.
A 2003 study found weekly use of talc powder to increase risk of ovarian cancer by 33 percent, and a 2008 study showed that daily use increases risk by 41%. Talc particles enter the ovaries and do not dislodge themselves for years on end, causing the ovaries to inflame. This inflammation then makes it easier for cancer cells to develop. Even Johnson and Johnson executives admitted the link in their lost court case, though counting it too small a risk to have warranted a warning label. Other talcum powder companies, however, had already put on such labels and thus were not litigated against. We see then that the link between ovarian cancer and talc has been long suspected (for over 30 years) and is now beginning to be more fully proved.
Confusion About the Regulation of Talc
OSHA has set limits on the amount of talc dust that one should breathe in a day, due to its link to lung cancer and as many as 10,000 women are thought to get ovarian cancer per year due to talc, yet talc remains an unregulated substance. The FDA even recognizes it as safe to use with table salt for its anti-caking effects. Thus it seems there is good reason to believe that talc has indeed caused ovarian cancer in thousands of women and may be harmful in other respects as well, and despite this fact it is inconsistently and inadequately regulated and not widely recognized is many scientific circles for its disastrous effects. All the while, judges and juries keep on finding many talc powder victims worthy of substantial compensation for their sufferings and expenses. U.S. policy toward talc regulation is truly a confusing mess.
Symptoms and Seriousness of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer unfortunately shows few if any recognizable distinctive symptoms in its early stages, and by the time its symptoms do surface, the cancer may be well progressed and have spread to other parts of the body. The warning signs that may occur are pain and cramping of the back, stomach, and pelvic area, unusual bleeding of the vagina, urinary dysfunctions, and difficulties eating and desiring sufficient food
quantities. Symptoms, when they do surface, normally strike suddenly, continue incessantly, and cause digestive and menstruation irregularities. Tens of thousands of women are affected by ovarian cancer and it often requires surgical and chemotherapeutic treatment. Many thousands die from this serious and deadly disease.
Talcum Powder Defective Product Litigation
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer post talcum powder usage, it is very possible that talc from that product entering the urinary tract and infiltrating the ovaries is the cause of the cancer. Specialists are able to use the very same tissue samples that identified the presence of the cancer cells to also determine if talc fibers are present in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or lymph nodes in the pelvic region. By scrutinizing your medical records and combining that information with their medical experience, an ovarian cancer expert can likely find if talc powder is the cause.
By filing a defective product law suit, you can seek for yourself or a loved one just compensation for the pain, suffering, mounting and continuing medical expenses, and loss of income resultant from the ovarian cancer. Dangerous or poorly labeled drugs and chemicals are a bight on society that sometimes requires legal action to correct.
Safer products can be a welcome result from litigation since companies do not always willingly take proper actions of their own accord.
If you believe you are suffering from talcum powder caused ovarian cancer, be aware that most states have passed laws limiting the time frame within which a lawsuit is valid. These limitations are normally for a generous amount of time, but it does give an additional reason to not delay in filing a lawsuit. We realize that at a time of great suffering, few will wish to be involved in the time-consuming, stressful, and unpleasant world of courtroom litigation proceedings, but with financial and medical pressures hitting hard and unrelentingly and the clock ticking on state statute of limitation periods, it is imperative to seek legal help from experienced injury law attorneys who will be able to assist you in obtaining full and fair compensation and in sending a warning message to companies who do not manufacture, market, and label their products in a safe and responsible manner.