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North Carolina Personal Injury Blog

Science, talcum powder and cancer

The science community has not fully committed to the definitive link between women's talcum powder usage and ovarian and uterine cancers. But some oncology researchers — and several recent juries — have determined that a causal link exists.

The results of one such study appeared in an issue of the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention journal. The scientists discovered that intimate use of talcum powder causes a 24 percent uptick of risk for uterine cancer.

The relationship between talcum powder and cancer

Sometimes it seems as if half the products on the marketplace can cause cancer. With others, such as coffee, there appear to be both benefits and potential dangers with its consumption.

It can thus be quite challenging to determine whether a product you know and love contains carcinogens that can put your health and life at risk. However, when it comes to talcum powder and certain types of cancer, many experts urge caution if not outright avoidance.

Jury awards plaintiff in Roundup cancer lawsuit $289 million

The popular weed killing chemical known as Roundup, which is the brand name for glyphosate, is often considered safe for human exposure. The company that created Roundup, Monsanto, has insisted for decades that glyphosate has no adverse impact on human health. It is supposedly safe for use on any major crops that are Roundup ready.

The company does not label its Roundup products with any sort of warning about the long-term health consequences of those who have protracted and heavy levels of exposure. The failure on the part of Monsanto to recognize the potential dangers of this compound recently cost it a lot of money in a California courtroom. The jury awarded the plaintiff in the case well over a quarter of a billion dollars in damages.

Common myths about Mesothelioma

Exposure to asbestos through any means can cause major health problems and serious diseases. Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that has been shown to be caused by exposure to asbestos. If you have been exposed to asbestos, whether in the form of talc or in building materials, it is important to understand more about the potential diseases that can result.

Mesothelioma is a non-hereditary disease, however, secondary exposure to asbestos is possible. If a person has asbestos in their lung, the asbestos can spread to close family and friends when they spend a lot of time together. This is why it is possible for several family members to suffer from mesothelioma.

St. Louis jury awards 22 victims $4.7 billion in talc case

Talc powder, frequently marketed as baby powder, has been a staple of American households for decades. People use it in diapers to prevent diaper rash. Adult and adolescent women may use it to reduce odor and moisture around the genitals.

However, recent anecdotes and medical cases are calling this practice into question. Concerns about talc powder contaminated with asbestos and inexplicable cancers in otherwise healthy individuals have led to hundreds of lawsuits against talcum powder companies. Recently, a case in Missouri went to court, and the jury found in favor of the 22 plaintiffs.

Missouri court throws out massive talc powder award to victim on technicality

Scientists and doctors have recognized the carcinogenic effects of asbestos for decades. Acknowledging this meant that the government has had to step in and regulate asbestos exposure for workers. However, for thousands of people, the exposure has already happened.

Most people exposed to asbestos experience it through their work. Some people develop cancers because their spouses had exposure and they inhaled the asbestos from their clothing. For some, there is no link to asbestos. These people may have developed cancers as a result of asbestos exposure through contaminated talc.

Major lawsuit in California alleging cancer caused by Roundup

Many chemical products in the United States do not receive adequate long-term testing before becoming publicly available. Basic safety testing often only looks at the short-term health impacts of new products and chemicals. Years later, it may become obvious that these new products actually pose significant public health risks. The popular plant-killing chemical called Roundup, also known as glyphosate, is one such product.

For a long time, the company that created the compound, Monsanto, has maintained that it is safe for use on crops and for exposure in humans. However, an increasing number of cases link the popular weed-killing chemicals to serious cancers in humans. For those who have developed these cancers with no other explanation, it may be possible to hold the manufacturer liable for the dangers caused by this veggie herbicide.

Missouri talc powder suit has 22 plaintiffs seeking compensation

Since the beginning of 2018, the American judicial system has seen a marked increase in the number of talc-related cancer lawsuits. Some of these lawsuits target manufacturers, claiming that talcum powders sold to consumers actually had contamination from asbestos. Johnson & Johnson is one company that has already faced, and lost, a number of lawsuits related to contaminated talc powders and the potential link to cancer.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that is linked to several kinds of cancer, including the incredibly aggressive and deadly cancer mesothelioma. In nature, deposits of talc and asbestos often occur in close proximity to one another. Chemical testing by some labs has shown asbestos contamination in baby powders as well as makeup marketed to teenagers.

California still not labeling Roundup as a potential carcinogen

In many regards, California leads environmental policy in the United States. Steps that they take toward both policy and safety are often replicated in other states and even at the federal level over time. California takes its responsibilities to its citizens very seriously. They have stricter environmental, chemical and labeling regulations than any other state.

Products that are freely sold in other states may have to carry a label in California acknowledging the risk for cancer or other medical issues as a result of consumer exposure. California also has more strict limits on the use of certain materials like formaldehyde in flooring materials. However, a recent court ruling out of California could impact people in that state and others who are pushing back against Roundup. Some link this popular plant-killing compound with certain cancers.

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $25.75 million over talc claims

Research has long linked the aggressive and fatal cancer called mesothelioma to asbestos exposure. This cancer affects the lining of the organs and can cause debilitating pain as it progresses. Mesothelioma is particularly insidious, in part because it takes so long to develop. People with mesothelioma may not get diagnosed until years or decades after their exposure.

Many people who worked in industrial settings have had to face a mesothelioma diagnosis later in their retirement years. Those who work in manufacturing, mining, construction and even vehicle repair could have had dangerous levels of exposure. The same is often true for their spouses.


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