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Researching Talcum Powder and Cancer

Researching Talcum Powder and Cancer

With numerous products containing talcum powder available on the shelves of retailers across the country, consumers are continuing to wonder if the controversial mineral is linked to cancer. When trying to understand research results on talcum powders, it is important to know the differences of talc substances. There has been no debate that talc containing asbestos is a carcinogen. This particular mineral compound, when inhaled, can produce cancer in and around the lungs. What has become more difficult to label as carcinogenic, is the use of non-asbestos talc on genitals, like the products Johnson & Johnson has been manufacturing for decades.

Surprisingly, there has been little research on the use of non-asbestos talc, particularly the use as a daily part of feminine hygiene, and its link to ovarian cancer. Typically, when a substance is tested as a carcinogen such as talc, it will be tested in two main ways. Lab studies and human studies are the most successful ways of reporting the combined information on a substance and its link to causing cancer or helping cancer grow.

When any substance is studied in the lab, it will be used on normal cells in a lab dish as well as exposing lab animals to often large doses of the substance. Once exposed, researchers will look at cell growth or change as well as the health of exposed lab animals. This has been a proven way to study any substance for carcinogens but difficult to know how it will apply to actual humans. When a substance is studied in humans, researchers will study and compare the level of use of the substance and its rate of cancer in different people groups. For instance, it will compare people who have never used talcum powder with those who have, to see if there is a correlation of cancer. Results from this type of human research can be very difficult to interpret.

Companies are required to warn their customers of any potential risks or dangers of their product. Johnson & Johnson has known about the talcum powder and cancer link for years and have failed to warn consumers or remove their products from store shelves. While research information remains ambiguous for the public, one thing is for certain, St. Louis jurors are finding the Johnson & Johnson’s products containing non-asbestos talc cancer causing and have ordered the company to pay millions to plaintiffs.

If you have suffered from ovarian cancer and have used Johnson & Johnson’s products containing non-asbestos talc, it is imperative that you contact St. Louis’ best product liability law attorneys at Meyerkord, Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC. With no obligation, a trusted and caring product liability law attorney at Meyerkord, Meyerkord & Kurth, is available for a free consultation at our downtown St. Louis location.


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