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Risks of Talcum Powder Use

talcum powderWhat is Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder is commonly used to cut down on skin to skin friction by keeping skin dry and cutting down on rashes, typically while doing some sort of physical activity.  This could include working a job that requires physical labor, working out, or just for daily comfort.  Some talc contains asbestos in its natural form, which is known to be a carcinogen (cancer causing) and in particular causing cancers in or around the lungs when inhaled.

Home-use U.S. products that use talcum powder have been asbestos free for over 40 years, however, anyone that is exposed to natural talcum fibers for long periods of time (such as talc miners) may be at risk, as well as women who use talcum powder regularly in the genital area.  Some are concerned about this increasing the risk of ovarian cancer.

Recent Studies

First of all, raw talc that still contains asbestos is no longer used in cosmetic products and can increase the risk of cancer if you have been exposed to it for long periods of time.  Research done on asbestos-free talc is not quite clear.

After combining 16 studies done before 2003, researchers found that there could be about a 30% increase in risk for ovarian cancer among women who use talc powder in their genital areas regularly.  This raises the risk from 1.4% to 1.8% but talc is still widely used in many other products so the results are not definite and research is still being done to find out more about products that use asbestos-free talc powder and how risky these products might be, if at all.

What Should I Do?

While all the research is not done and real risks remain somewhat unknown, if you are concerned you may want to avoid the use of products that contain talcum powder and look into using substitutes for now, until more research is done.  Cornstarch-based cosmetic products can be used in similar ways and there is no evidence of these powders being linked to cancers or any other medical conditions at this time.

What Can An Attorney Do?

In recent cases, juries have determined that companies have been liable for failing to warn consumers about these risks.  In 2013 a South Dakota jury determined that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the risk to women that applying talc powder could have.  A 56-year-old woman was found to have ovarian cancer that was caused by talc powder, as determined by doctors.

If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have been injured using talc powder or would like to learn more about any possible or current medical conditions please contact Hensley Legal Group to get a no cost legal consultation.

Visit our talcum powder website for more information on talcum powder lawsuits.

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