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Facts About Talcum Powder Every Woman Must Know to Rule Out Ovarian Cancer

Facts About Talcum Powder Every Woman Must Know to Rule Out Ovarian Cancer

There is an uprising concern about the use of talcum powder and the development of cancers such as mesothelioma and ovarian cancers. Women must be aware of the scientifically proven facts about this link to be safe or file for compensation if diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer targets one of the main components of the female reproductive system, ovaries. Ovaries are of almond sized and are responsible to produce egg and major female hormones, progesterone, and estrogen. The eggs formed in these ovaries travel through the fallopian tube and go to the uterus where the egg is fertilized after merging with sperm.

Till this day, it is impossible to detect progression of ovarian cancer, until the cancerous cells spread within the abdomen and pelvis. And at this later stage of ovarian cancer, it becomes extremely difficult to treat.

The chances of American women being diagnosed with ovarian cancer are in 1 in 78, while the chances of dying a woman with ovarian cancer are 1 in 108. More than 14,000 women die with this disease every year.

Therefore, it is exceptionally important to beware of the scientifically proven causes of ovarian cancer.

Regarding this, consistent use of talcum powder has been scientifically proved to be associated with the development of ovarian cancer. The main ingredient of talcum powder is talc which is obtained from mines.

Refined, and finely powdered form of talc is particularly known for its smoothness, characteristic moisture absorbing quality, and soft feel. And that makes it a perfect choice to use in cosmetics.

Recently, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the signature talcum powder brand

“Johnson & Johnson’s” claiming the contamination of carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substance in the talcum powder. The company had paid millions of dollars in compensation to their negligence but simultaneously has denied all the claims.

Nonetheless, as a woman, you should be well aware of the facts yourself.

Possibility of Talc and Risks of Cancer Development Were Provided Decades Ago!

There is nothing new or shocking about the carcinogenic effects of talcum powder scientifically. As there have been several scientific research has been done in the past correlating the match between ovarian cancer patients and the presence of talc/ asbestos in their samples.

A British study, published in the year 1971 titled as “Talc and Carcinoma of the ovary and Cervix”, in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was the first research that raised the possibility of talc as the cause of ovarian cancer. In this study, researchers analyzed 13 ovarian tumors and talc was found “deeply embedded” in 10 of these tumors.

The study says,

“…. talc particles were found deeply embedded within the tumor tissue. The close association of the talc to the asbestos group of minerals of interest”

In 1982, a team of researchers from the Department of Obstetrics, Division of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston led by Daniel Cramer, published research in “Cancer” Journal titled as  “Ovarian Cancer and talc. A case-control study”. This study is the first ever scientific proof of linkage between regular and excessive use of talcum powder and the development of ovarian cancer.

Authors of the research experimentally proved this link, with the association of the presence of carcinogenic asbestos in the talcum powder as the major reason for elevated chances of mesothelioma development, saying

“This provides some support for an association between talc and ovarian cancer hypothesized because of the similarity of ovarian cancer to mesotheliomas and the chemical relation of talc to asbestos, a known cause of mesotheliomas.”

Soon after the publication of this study, Professor Cramer was called on a meeting with an executive of Johnson & Johnson’s company in Boston. Professor Cramer is now working as a scientific expert for the plaintiffs. During a court filing in 2011, Cramer shared this experience. He said,

“Dr. Semple spent his time trying to convince me that talc use was a harmless habit, while I spent my time trying to persuade him to consider the possibility that my study could be correct and that women should be advised of this potential risk of talc,”

During the flow of lawsuits against the company, Cramer said,

“I don’t think this was a question of money. I think it was a pride of ownership. Baby Powder is a signature product for J&J.”

Surely, lawsuits are rising against Johnson’s & Johnson’s many of which the company has failed to satisfy the jury with their provided scientific and legal documents. Well, it is not only about the baby powder from Johnson & Johnson’s brand.

Majority of Talcum Powders are Contaminated with Impure Minerals

Regarding this, a study was published back in 1976. After the publication of the British research, as mentioned above, the researchers from the Environmental Science Laboratory, City University of New York conducted an experiment in which they analyzed the chemical composition and basic components of talcum powders of 20 different brands. All of these talcum powders were formulated before 1973.

The researchers found noticeable amounts of carcinogenic asbestiform in half of the talcum powder samples.

The author of the research wrote,

“Of the 20 products 10 contained detectable amounts of tremolite and anthophyllite, principally asbestiform, while some also contained fragmented forms of these minerals.”

This indicates that consistent use of talcum powders from any of these 10 brands can be the cause of mesothelioma or ovarian cancer.

Talking about the percentage of these minerals in the talcum powder and its harmful range, then there is no particular limit of asbestos exposure when it comes to causing cancer. The researchers found a varying amount of minerals in the talcum powder samples.

“The amounts ranged from tenths of a percent to over 14% by weight; two contained detectable amounts of chrysotile asbestos fiber.”

Interestingly, not most of the talcum powders produced had 100% pure talc in them.  More importantly, this reveals that there had been scientifically proven data available since the 70s, but the companies still kept on selling their product, while keeping the laboratory test reports a secret.

The researchers concluded their study as,

“The analyses showed that the consumer products examined were rarely the pure mineral talc, but rather were mixtures of various minerals; some samples consisted of three to five minerals, only one of which was talc.”

But, there are several other talcum powder brands that may be proved guilty. However, J&J has ruled over the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry with these signature products, and thus simultaneously have millions of dedicated users, so the reversing impact is powerful as well.

Definitely, it is the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies and cosmetic brands to reveal all the information regarding the components used in the formulation of their products. If you have been using talcum powder for decades and are diagnosed with ovarian cancer then you might be eligible to file for compensation. Reach out today, to know your chances.

Cited Sources:


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