U.S. Representatives Hear Testimony on Talcum Powder Cancer Risk
A recent hearing before the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy shed some light on the possible dangers of cosmetic products, specifically Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powder products.
Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of lawsuits for its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products, which may increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some medical professionals, including one who testified before the House subcommittee, believe there is a link between women applying talcum powder to the genital areas and developing ovarian cancer. There are medical studies to support this. Talcum powder products may also be tainted with asbestos, a group of naturally occurring minerals that can lead to the development of mesothelioma and/or ovarian cancer. Asbestos is a very well-known human carcinogen, and has been for several decades.
During the hearing, members of the committee heard testimony from victims of talcum powder products as well as medical professionals and consumer protection activists. According to a doctor who participated in the hearing, talcum powder products may trigger an inflammatory response that encourages the growth of cancer cells. The doctor reviewed 38 studies spanning four decades. Her findings led her to believe that women who use talcum powder products in their genital area have a 22 to 31 percent greater chance of developing epithelial ovarian cancer than women who do not use these products.
Evidence introduced in the lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson suggest that it knew about the dangers associated with using its talcum powder products. Internal documents spanning back several decades show that the company knew its talcum powder products could be tainted with asbestos. Despite Johnson & Johnson’s insistence that its talcum powder products do not contain asbestos, internal documents show that company executives were concerned about these products containing asbestos.
The lawsuits over talcum powder have also brought attention to a significant consumer safety issue. At the moment, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has little, if any, regulatory control over cosmetic products. For instance, cosmetic products do not need to undergo FDA approval before being sold to consumers. Some of these products are known to contain human carcinogens. In fact, during the recent congressional testimony before the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, a vice president of a consumer safety nonprofit testified that his organization tested makeup products that contained numerous chemicals linked to birth defects, cancer and reproductive harm.
What Are Common Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?
If you are concerned about your talcum powder use over the years, we have included some common symptoms of ovarian cancer listed by the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Fullness very quickly after eating
- Pelvic area discomfort
- Bowel movement changes
- Frequent need to urinate
Symptoms may not be present during the early stages of ovarian cancer, which means it can be more difficult to detect and treat. Mild symptoms may develop as the disease progresses. However, as you can see above, some of these symptoms are commonly associated with other health conditions. For this and other reasons, ovarian cancer is extremely dangerous.
Even in cases where ovarian cancer is caught early, it still may be necessary to undergo radiation therapy, chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. These treatments can also lead to major health issues that interrupt day-to-day life.
What If Talcum Powder Caused My Cancer?
You may have legal options if you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer and suspect that talcum powder is the cause. Thousands of women across the United States and their surviving family members have filed lawsuits. One of the men who testified before the House congressional committee lost his mother to ovarian cancer. She had sought compensation for late-stage ovarian cancer before her death.
Compensation from a talcum powder lawsuit can be immensely helpful to women affected by this terrible disease as well as their family members. Compensatory damages in a talcum powder lawsuit may help pay for medical bills, lost income, and many other expenses caused by an ovarian cancer diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and suspect it could be caused by your talcum powder usage, it is advisable to speak with an attorney to get answers and help.
Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., is accepting talcum powder cases. You can read more about our experience with talcum powder lawsuits by continuing to explore our website.
Co-founder and senior shareholder of our law firm, Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney Kenneth M. Rothweiler began his career as a legal clerk for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Dedicated to complex personal injury litigation, he has tried more than 100 jury trials. These cases resulted in some of the largest verdicts in Pennsylvania.