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What Is Talcum Powder?

bottle of johnson's baby powder sitting on a wooden surface

Talc is a mineral clay that can be found across the globe. It’s used in a wide range of industries, from paper manufacturing and pharmaceuticals to food and beauty. Talcum powder, also known as baby powder, is talc in powdered form and has been used for cosmetic purposes for decades. Recent concerns about the link between talcum powder and cancer have resulted in a number of successful lawsuits against manufacturers who sell products that contain it.

A Brief History

Talc is the softest mineral on Earth and has been used in a variety of cosmetics for over a century. In the early 1900s, Johnson & Johnson began marketing a baby powder made of talc, with mothers as their target demographic. It absorbs moisture well, cuts down on friction, and is very effective at preventing diaper rash. Talcum powder was also commonly used for feminine hygiene and was applied to surgical gloves and condoms.

Concerns About Talc

In the 1970s, researchers began sounding the alarm about the link between talcum powder and cancer. There was a concern regarding cross-contamination with talc and asbestos because when talc is mined, veins of asbestos often occur within talc deposits. Asbestos has been linked to harmful conditions, including mesothelioma, for decades. The use of talcum powder around the female genital area has also possibly been linked to ovarian and cervical cancer.

Legal Action

In 2016, juries awarded more than $120 million in damages to plaintiffs who sued Johnson & Johnson after developing cancers linked to talcum powder use. In July 2018, Johnson & Johnson paid out $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women who claimed that their ovarian cancer was caused by the company’s baby powder. As of 2019, the company faces ongoing litigation involving nearly 12,000 talcum powder claims.

The experienced attorneys at D’Amico Law Offices, LLC believe in holding manufacturers accountable for exposing people to dangerous products. If you or a loved one is in the Pittsburgh area and has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that may have been caused by talcum powder, we can investigate and assess the strength of your claim to help you determine if legal action is warranted. Schedule a consultation with our team today by contacting us at 412-906-8180.