Is talc toxic? Talcum powder, used for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes, is made from the mineral talc, which absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction. Talc is widely used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and adult body and facial powders, and a number of other consumer products.
Does talcum powder cause cancer? According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), some forms of talc contain asbestos, which is known to cause cancer when inhaled. Talc products used in the U.S. have been free of asbestos since 1970, however, and the ACS position is that it is not clear whether or not asbestos-free talcum powder causes cancer.
A lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson by plaintiff on behalf of six women who developed ovarian cancer began its trial recently in California state court. Echeverria alleges that she developed ovarian cancer as a result of using J&J products like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower while residing in California, reported lawyersandsettlements.com. The plaintiff’s expert, a toxicologist and pharmacologist and former consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, testified that long-term exposure to talc particles can cause inflammation, which is linked to cancer.
The expert said that long-term exposure to talc particles can cause inflammation, which is linked to cancer. She testified that, “[Talc] doses on a daily basis, if they sit in the tissue over time, the more and more body burden that builds up in those tissues can lead to continual toxicity within the tissues, and that’s this chronic inflammation.”
Johnson & Johnson’s legal team succeeded in its defense of the company in an earlier ovarian cancer talc case, according to the Courtroom View Network (CVN). Previous ovarian cancer lawsuits against J&J have taken place in Missouri, most recently one in which a jury ordered the health products giant to pay more than $110 million to a Virginia woman for allegedly failing to disclose the cancer risk from its baby powder and Shower to Shower products that contain talc.
J&J has repeatedly denied the connection between talc and cancer, according to USA Today. “We are preparing for additional trials this year and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,” the company said in a statement.
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