Talcum powder is a soft white powder made from talc – which is a mineral primarily consisting of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. In its powder form, it absorbs moisture, acts as a deodorant and reduces friction, which results in helping keep skin dry and preventing rashes. Talcum powder is commonly used in cosmetic and consumer products such as baby powder, and adult and facial powder. When in its natural form, it can contain asbestos, which is a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs if inhaled.
What Are The Side Effects Of Talcum Powder Use?
Questions concerning the safety of using talcum powder have been raised several times of the last 40 years. Studies as far back as the 70’s have linked the application of talcum powder by women to their genital area to ovarian cancer. When used in the genital area, the particles in talc can travel through the vagina and into the uterus along the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. There the particles can remain embedded in the ovaries for up to eight years. Other side effects include respiratory issues – caused when the powder becomes airborne during normal use. This is most dangerous for infants and can cause wheezing, fast and shallow breathing, and potentially acute or chronic lung irritation. The critical issue is how long was the product used or applied to a particular area.
How Common Is The Use Of Talcum Powder?
The use of talcum powder is very wide spread and common. It has been routinely used on babies, children and adults for everything from diaper rash to a foot powder. It has also been used for generations by women who have applied talcum powder to their genital area for hygiene purposes.
What Are The Complaints And Side Effects From The Use Of These Products?
The prolonged and continuous use of products containing talcum powder can cause pain, discomfort and lack of enjoyment of life. Bloating or inflammation of the abdomen, pelvic pain, increased urination, changes in appetite, and feeling tired are among the many symptoms that a woman may experience. Despite talcum powder being used for generations in American bathrooms and nurseries, health-care experts have discovered that long-term exposure to the natural talc fibers can increase the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 20 – 30%. Ovarian cancer is an aggressive cancer affecting as many as 10,000 women a year.
Why Don’t Talcum Powder Products Have Adequate Warning Labels?
The companies that produce talcum powder are enormous corporations that often times do not put adequate warnings on their products because they put profits over safety. These companies often times weigh the pros and cons of placing proper and adequate warnings when looking at sales. If only a few cases have been filed against them for talcum powder, the cost of settlement for that does not override the loss of sales that might occur if the public knew of the true dangers the product posed. If they are making billions of dollars in sales, paying a couple million for settlement does not harm them.
Has Any Legal Action Been Taken Against The Makers Of Talcum Powder?
There are currently around 1,200 cases against Johnson & Johnson alone accusing it of not adequately informing consumers about the talc-based products’ cancer risk.
When Did The Problems With The Talcum Powder First Start To Surface?
Scientists have known for over 40 years that talcum powder can be dangerous for women who use it frequently. A 2013 report has indicated that women who have used talc over a 10 year period face a 20 – 30% increase in developing ovarian cancer.
What Has Been The Response From Manufacturers?
In one lawsuit, the manufacturer had offered to pay the plaintiff if she promised to sign a nondisclosure agreement in order to keep the claim quiet and not ruin the name of the manufacturer. The overwhelming response has been to do nothing other than defend against the growing number of lawsuits. They claim that if it is safe enough to use on babies then there certainly cannot be anything wrong with talcum powder use by women.
Who Can Make A Claim Or File Lawsuit?
Women, or the family of a woman, who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer which was caused from the use of talcum powder can make a claim or file a lawsuit
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