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Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer

In March 2016, a jury awarded $72,000,000 to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer, claiming Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other products containing talcum were the cause. In May 2016, a jury awarded $55,000,000 to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower in Shower for decades. Over 40 years thousands of women who’ve used Johnson & Johnson brands Shower to Shower and Baby Powder talcum powder for feminine hygiene have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Scientific evidence suggests that the talcum powder may have been the cause.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries and can rapidly spread through other parts of a woman’s abdomen. The danger in ovarian cancer is that symptoms tend to be mild or nonspecific in the early stages of the disease. Lookout for the following symptoms lasting 2 weeks or more:


  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual changes
  • Abdominal swelling with weight loss

Risk Factors

  • Talcum powder: The use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene has been linked to a 50% increased risk
  • Genetics: BRCA1 and BRCA2 account for 15% of ovarian cancer diagnoses
  • Age: Women are more at risk as they age
  • Obesity: Heavier women are at a higher risk Reproductive
  • History: Women who’ve had children over the age of 35 or never been pregnant are at an increased risk
  • Fertility Drugs: Studies show using certain fertility drugs may increase the risk

Ovarian Cancer By the Numbers

  • The 7th most common killer-cancer of women around the world
  • In the US, 23,000 women are diagnosed yearly – 15,000 of them die
  • 1 in 75 women are in danger of developing ovarian cancer in their lifetime – 1 in 100 will die from it
  • 50% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer were 63 or older
  • 90% of women diagnosed in stage 1 live for at least 5 years

A Timeline of Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer

1800’s: Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral containing magnesium and silicon that is mined in rock form. It is milled into a fine powder marketed to absorb moisture and reduce friction.

1950’s: Women became a target market for manufacturers pitching talcum powder as a way of staying cool, comfortable, and free of vaginal odors.

1950’s – Present: Women routinely dust their private parts, underwear, and sanitary napkins with talcum powder. Talcum powder is also used with diaphragms for birth control and was once found in a number of condoms.

1970’s: Scientists find a possible connection between the dusting of female genitals with talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Talc particles entered a woman’s reproductive tract through the vagina and traveled through the cervix into the uterus, then moved through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries.

1970’s – Present: Several studies throughout the ensuing decades reaffirmed the connection between talc and ovarian cancer.

 Facts about Johnson & Johnson and Talc Liability

When studies were first released connecting talcum powder to ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson referred to research as inconclusive and failed to put a warning on its talcum powder products.

  • In 2013 Deane Berg, an ovarian cancer survivor, sued Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn her of the connection. A federal jury found that their products were a factor but awarded no damages.
  • In 2014 two class-action lawsuits were filed against Johnson & Johnson claiming the company is responsible for giving women ovarian cancer through its talcum powder products, Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower.
  • In February 2016, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox, whose ovarian cancer death was linked to use of Baby Powder and Shower to Shower.
  • In May 2016, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $55 million in damages to Gloria Ristesund, who contracted ovarian cancer after using Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for decades.

Do You Need a Lawyer? 

  • You’ve been using talcum powder for at least 4 years or more
  • You were diagnosed with ovarian or fallopian tube cancer at age 65 or younger

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has used Talc products for at least 4 years, our lawyers can help. Contact us today at1-888-603-3636 or by clicking here