New Study Suggests Genital Talc Use Increases Ovarian Cancer Risk by 20%

talcum powder cancerYet another study has found a possible link between the genital use of talcum powder and an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The research, which was published this month in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, consisted of a meta-analysis of 24 previously published statistical analyses and several prospective studies involving more than 300,000 ovarian cancer patients.

Overall, women who used talc had about a 20% increased risk for ovarian cancer compared to those who did not. The report’s authors characterized the findings as “statistically significant.”

“The publication of this research comes as thousands of ovarian cancer victims and their families pursue talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson. The findings only add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that the regular and repeated use of talc-based powders for feminine hygiene purposes may contribute to the development of the disease,” says attorney Sandy A. Liebhard of Bernstein Liebhard LLP in New York.

Nationwide Talcum Powder Litigation

Johnson & Johnson is a defendant in more than 2,000 talcum powder lawsuits pending in courts around the country. All were filed on behalf of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer following long-term use of Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower for feminine hygiene purposes. Plaintiffs allege that since the 1970s, a growing number of studies have pointed to a link between genital talc use and an increased risk of ovarian cancer. They further assert that Johnson & Johnson has long been aware of this research, but placed profits before consumer safety by withholding information and warnings from the public.

One of the country’s largest talcum powder litigations is now underway in Missouri’s 22nd Circuit Court for St. Louis, where three trials were convened last year. All three juries delivered verdicts in favor of plaintiffs, ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay compensatory and punitive damage awards totaling $55 million, $72 million and $70 million. Jury selection for the litigation’s fourth trial is scheduled to begin on January 30th.

In addition to the cases pending in Missouri, nearly 100 talcum powder lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson have been centralized in a federal multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. (In Re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation – MDL No.2738)

An additional 224 cases are pending in a multicounty litigation established in New Jersey’s Atlantic County Superior Court. (In Re: Talc-Based Powder Products – Case No. 300).

Larry Bodine

Attorney Larry Bodine is Editor of Mass Tort Nexus, and the Editor of The National Trial Lawyers. He is the former Editor in Chief of Lawyers.com and the American Bar Association Journal. He is a cum laude graduate of both Seton Hall University Law School and Amherst College.

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