What Talc Is Used For

Talc, found in products such as talcum powder, is a mineral that exists naturally in our environment. It is made up of magnesium, silicon, oxygen and hydrogen. Talc, like other minerals, has to be mined for use. (4)

Talc is known for its absorbent properties. Talc also reduces friction. (5)

Because of these characteristics, talc products may be marketed to help keep skin dry and protect against rashes. (6) Talc may also be used in certain consumer products “to prevent caking, to make facial makeup opaque, or to improve the feel of a product.” (7)

You can find talc in many things, from body powders to baby powder to blush to eye shadow to foundation, as well as in food such as chewing gum and rice. (8)

Talc, Asbestos and Cancer

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral, often contaminated by the carcinogenic mineral asbestos in the earth. (9)

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “asbestos is a known carcinogen when inhaled. There is the potential for contamination of talc with asbestos.” (10)

Mesothelioma Symptoms

There are different types of mesothelioma. This aggressive cancer occurs on the linings of the lungs, as well as linings of the abdomen, heart, and testicles. (11)

Mesothelioma can take decades to develop. People often contract the disease long after their initial exposure to talc containing asbestos. “People exposed at an early age, for a long time, and at higher levels are more likely to develop this cancer,” according to the American Cancer Society. (12)

Symptoms of mesothelioma may include (13)

  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Painful coughing.
  • Lumps under chest skin.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Talc and Ovarian Cancer

Several studies have observed an increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer in women who have used talc-based powders for “feminine hygiene.” (14) (15) (16) (17)

Some women apply talc powders to their genital area, underwear or sanitary napkins. (18) Thousands of women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer are now coming forward. They allege that talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer. (19)

Were you diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using talc-based powder? You may be eligible for compensation.

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Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Ovarian cancer arises from cells that have begun to grow out of control in a woman’s ovaries. (20)

Only a fifth of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage, when the disease is most treatable. Approximately 94 percent of women diagnosed at an early stage of ovarian cancer live more than five years after their diagnosis. In contrast, the survival rates drop significantly when women are diagnosed with cancer that has moved outside of their ovaries. (21) (22)

One reason that the majority of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer at later stages is due to the fact that ovarian cancer often causes nonspecific symptoms or no symptoms at all until it progresses to advanced disease. (23)

Symptoms of ovarian cancer may include: (24)

  • Bloated or swollen abdomen.
  • Feeling full quickly during eating.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Discomfort in pelvic area.
  • Constipation or other bowel habits changes.
  • Frequent urination.

Cosmetic Products Don’t Need FDA Approval

The two primary laws regulating cosmetics manufactured and sold in the United States are the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. The FDA regulates cosmetics but does not “approve” them. (25)

According to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, color additives in cosmetics must be FDA-approved, but the cosmetics themselves and many of their ingredients do not need FDA approval. (26)

In addition, manufacturers must properly label their cosmetic products and the products must be safe for use by consumers “under labeled or customary conditions of use.” Manufacturers and marketers “have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA.” (27)

Cosmetic and personal care products, including ones made with talc, do not require the stringent testing that medications must undergo. Therefore, you do not find FDA-mandated warnings on these types of products. (28)

Talc Powder and Cancer: Lawsuit Decisions

Legal decisions involving talcum powder and cancer are making headlines in the media. One talcum powder manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has suffered legal defeats in court, totaling jury awards of as much as $100 million in damages. (29)

Between jury trials and negotiated settlements, J&J may be liable for billions of dollars. The plaintiffs in many cases claim that using J&J talcum powder led to their cancer. (30)

J&J is facing ongoing lawsuits from consumers around the country. Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed alleging a link between ovarian cancer and use of talc powder for feminine hygiene. (31)

Thousands of lawsuits have also been filed against J&J alleging that their talc caused mesothelioma. (32)

“J&J knew for decades that small amounts of asbestos had occasionally been found in its raw talc and in Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, based on test results from the early 1970s to the early 2000s – information it did not disclose to regulators or the public,” according to Reuters. (33) (34)

Diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using talcum powder? Call us now for a free consultation.

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Cancer Lawsuit Experience

Facing a serious cancer diagnosis is something no one wants to go through. And facing the company that caused your illness is something you do not have to go through alone.

It may be scary, and it is certainly new for you. But it is not new to us. Our attorneys have been there – they have walked side-by-side with our clients as they face another challenge.

We have been able to help more than 35,000 clients dealing with life-threatening cancer. And we’ve won billions of dollars for them. Here are just a sample:

We achieved a seven-figure settlement for one client, in part because we had the actual talcum powder product used. Experts we hired tested the talc that was still in the containers, proving it contained asbestos.

This is just one of the many mesothelioma cases W&L has handled successfully for our clients. Here are some of our other wins.

We have also won large verdicts for clients harmed by dangerous drugs.

We feel your pain. Our attorneys know what you need and we know how to help. Let us.

Reach out to Weitz & Luxenberg today. Get a free consultation about your case by calling us at (833) 977-3437 or online.