Manufacturers of talcum powder continue to face a hefty lineup of lawsuits alleging a correlation between the use of talc and Ovarian Cancer. Talc and its component in the form of a powder are used in a vast number of cosmetics. Studies beginning in the 1970’s have pointed towards this deadly link which only underscores allegations of the company’s efforts to keep it under wraps. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the use of talcum powder but the government organization has agreed to launch an investigation into the product due to these allegations.
What is Shower-to-Shower?
Shower to Shower is a deodorizing product meant to be used after showering. One of the main ingredients is talc, which has been linked to Ovarian Cancer. A commonplace practice for decades, women have used talcum powder and talc-based products in their genital area which indicates the correlation to the deadly cancer.
What is talc?
Talc is a mineral made up of magnesium and silicon. It has been a household product throughout the decades in the form of baby powders, cosmetics and other hygiene products. Its primary appeal to users in powder form are its anti-caking properties, which help to prevent chafing and rashes. Females have used such products to improve comfort in their genital areas.
The powder itself is a very fine substance and its particles travel easily in the air. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using talcum powder products (baby powder) on children as the particulates pose severe respiratory problems for developing lungs.
Links to Ovarian Cancer
It is important to note that talc can contain asbestos, a carcinogen. Talc comes in asbestos-free forms now but that does not mean its properties are not cancer causing. Multiple studies and research suggest the use of talc in perineal areas (genitals) travels upwards through the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes and to the ovaries. Talc has frequently been found in the ovaries of women diagnosed with the cancer on multiple occasions.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
- Ascites, an excess accumulation of fluid which causes swelling
- Abdominal and pelvic discomfort
- Back or leg pain
- Changes in bowel movements
- Frequent urination
- Menorrhagia, excess vaginal bleeding
- Nausea or loss of appetite
- Gastrointestinal problems
Ovarian Cancer is the cause of more fatalities in women than any other reproductive cancer. It is imperative that women seek regular medical attention if any of these symptoms appear, as early detection yields higher success rates with treatment. More information about Ovarian Cancer can be found on the American Cancer Society website here.
The manufacturers of Johnsons’ Baby Powder and Shower to Shower has faced a multitude of lawsuits from people who claim their talc-based and talcum powder-based products have caused Ovarian Cancer.
A CBS article from May 2016 referenced a letter that was introduced into evidence at one of the trials that revealed a shocking acknowledgement Johnson & Johnson has known about the dangers of talc products. A medical consultant for the company wrote in an internal letter from September 1997 that,
“…the talc industry will be perceived by the public like it perceives the cigarette industry: denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
A woman in South Dakota, was diagnosed with the fatal reproductive cancer in 2006. She filed a lawsuit in October 2013 against Johnson & Johnson claiming a lifelong use of their Shower-to-Shower product was to blame for her diagnosis. Though she was not awarded any damages, her willingness to challenge the drug giant spearheaded the way for other women to come forward and demand Johnson & Johnson’s transparency in the matter.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the drug company since the aforementioned plaintiff took them to court. In addition, Johnson & Johnson has been forced to shell out millions of dollars after unsuccessful trial verdicts that went in the plaintiffs favor.
In August, a 63 yr old woman, was awarded $417 million in damages after she filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in Los Angeles. In her lawsuit, she stated that a lifelong use of Johnson’s Baby Powder caused her terminal Ovarian Cancer. Shortly after, she passed away.
While the drug company continues to fight liability, evidence continues to grow that a widespread and lifelong use of products containing talc, such as Shower-to-Shower, have a correlation to Ovarian Cancer.
Advanced studies approved
The FDA Office of Women’s Health (OWH) agreed to award research grants for 1-2 year studies and projects with the aim of advancing women’s health. The campaign was galvanized by the fact that decades of research, studies and lawsuits suggest talc causes Ovarian Cancer. An announcement on the FDA website stated, “Specifically, the association of such [ovarian] oncogenesis, with respect to exposure to a cosmetic ingredient used by women (talc), is of particular interest to women’s health, and our studies could prove to be useful as possible experimental models for further mechanistic studies in ovarian carcinogenesis.”