A growing amount of research links talcum powder (or talc) to cancer and asbestos exposure. The powder has been widely used in hygiene and sexual health products, like baby powder, menstrual supplies, and condoms, leading to increased risks of cancer in the reproductive organs.
If you or a loved one have developed cancer as a result of talcum powder use, a skilled attorney can help you recover compensation. Explore the background of talcum powder lawsuits and discover your legal options with the help of an Illinois talcum powder lawyer.
Why Are People Filing Talcum Powder Lawsuits?
Talcum powder was ubiquitous in many hygiene products. Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (sometimes shortened to J&J) was one of the biggest producers of talc products.
Johnson’s Baby Powder and lesser-known talc products like Shower-to-Shower body powder were frequently advertised as preventing sweat and providing a pleasant fragrance. For decades, talc was used on the genitals in many ways: as baby powder, in pads and tampons, on condoms, and to reduce sweat in the genital area.
While Johnson & Johnson maintained the products were safe, lawsuits indicated otherwise. Women began filing claims against J&J, reporting the development of asbestos-related lung cancers as well as ovarian cancers. Many of these women had used talc powder as a feminine hygiene aid. Again, the company denied that the product caused any risk of cancer.
However, in 2018, the news agency Reuters reported the truth: Johnson & Johnson had repeatedly detected asbestos in its talc tests for decades, with some tests dating back to the early 1970s. The contamination was present even before the company ran its own tests, with independent lab tests finding the contaminant as early as 1958.
The Reuters report wasn’t the only thing to spearhead the flurry of lawsuits. A successful lawsuit against J&J in 2018, which acknowledged a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, lit the talc powder keg. By the time Johnson & Johnson announced that it would discontinue its talc-based baby powder in August 2022, the company had been battling lawsuits for several years.
Talcum Powder, Asbestos, and Cancer Risk
Asbestos is a known carcinogen that significantly increases the risk of various cancers, including the cancer mesothelioma. While asbestos has been deemed unsafe since the 1970s, it’s extremely easy for it to contaminate talcum.
Both talc and asbestos originate as mineral deposits, and the two are often found quite close together. J&J’s earliest tests detected the talc was contaminated with tremolite, a type of mineral containing asbestos.
Talcum powder can be purified to remove asbestos, but recent research has suggested that even purified talc is unsafe. A 2018 review found that talcum use in the genital area or perineum (i.e., the space between the vulva and anus) was linked to higher rates of ovarian cancer.
Who Can Recover Damages for Talc Powder Exposure?
Being exposed to talcum powder or using talcum powder products is not enough to file a claim. To file a lawsuit, you must have suffered health effects related to using talcum powder products. Many people filing claims against Johnson & Johnson have developed lung or ovarian cancer or have lost relatives to the disease.
Should I Get an Attorney for My Talcum Powder or Asbestos Lawsuit?
If you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or an asbestos-related cancer, you may wonder if hiring an attorney is necessary. The answer is yes, without question. Two major reasons you need an attorney are representation in the lawsuit and successfully arguing your claim.
Unlike a class action lawsuit, where you can join without your own representation, you will need your own attorney for a talc powder lawsuit. This is because a talcum powder lawsuit is considered a mass tort.
In a class action lawsuit, everyone suing was equally harmed and will get equal compensation. In a mass tort, everyone’s damages can vary significantly, so their compensation will vary significantly as well. Having individual representation ensures that you receive a fair payout.
Proving Your Claim
Unlike most personal injury lawsuits, where you must prove that someone else’s negligence harmed you, product liability lawsuits don’t require you to prove the manufacturer was negligent. Anyone can file a product liability claim if they can prove that:
- The company or manufacturer sold the product
- You used the product
- The product harmed you in some way
Many people inaccurately believe that they can forgo a lawyer in a product liability claim. However, a cancer diagnosis is not sufficient to prove product liability. You also must prove that talcum powder caused or contributed to the development of your cancer and that it wasn’t simply a coincidence.
In addition, you may find yourself facing arguments from the company’s attorney that you may not have been prepared for. Fumbling to rebuke an argument or being caught off-guard can cause you to lose the case. A product liability attorney knows what the opponent’s attorney might say and will be prepared to refute it.
Nessler & Associates Will Pursue Your Product Liability Claim
Many of us rely on the advice of pharmaceutical companies to keep us safe and healthy. Discovering that you were using a harmful product is a shock, but learning that the company knew it was harmful may feel like a betrayal. If you’re an Illinois resident who has developed health problems from using talcum powder, Nessler & Associates can help you fight for your rights and get a fair settlement for any harm you’ve experienced using the product.
At Nessler & Associates, we don’t believe you should suffer the consequences of a company’s dangerous actions. If the use of talcum powder has harmed you, our attorneys are prepared to represent you in your claim and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us at (800) 727-8010 or complete our online form to schedule your