New Report Suggests that Talcum Powder Cancer Risk May Disproportionately Affect African American Women

Women across the country are being warned that using talcum powder as part of their feminine hygiene routine may increase their risk of ovarian cancer, and in an editorial published last month in Time magazine, an associate professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas suggested that African American women may be at a greater risk than other women, due to strategic marketing campaigns by Johnson & Johnson and other corporations. If you have routinely used talcum powder on or around your genital area, and you have since been diagnosed with ovarian, uterine, or cervical cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and medical bills.

Talcum Powder Cancer Verdicts

Significant attention has been paid to the potential link between talc powder and ovarian cancer in recent months, as multi-million dollar verdicts have been awarded to plaintiffs in at least two talcum powder trials so far this year. In February, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million in damages to the family of Jackie Fox, who died from ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder on her genital area to help control odor for more than 30 years. Fox was black, as are many of the women pursuing legal claims against Johnson & Johnson for its talc-based Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder products, and Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, the author of the Time editorial, believes this is more than just a coincidence.

African American Women Targeted by Ad Campaigns

For centuries, African American women have been targeted by false, racially-motivated advertising campaigns, particularly those involving feminine odor, which Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder was specifically marketed to address. In 1988, ad campaigns for J&J’s Shower-to-Shower body powder assured women that “just a sprinkle a day keeps odor away,” and reminded them that “your body perspires in more places than just under your arms.” As a result, generations of African American women have routinely used potentially harmful talcum powder products around their genital area to stay fresh, a practice that may put them at a greater risk of cancer in their reproductive organs.

Just last year, a study conducted by researchers at George Washington University reported that vaginal douching products were used twice as often by black women than they were by white women, and, in addition to the practice preventing the detection of vaginal infections, the researchers found that vaginal douching products often contain harmful chemicals known as phthalates, which have also been connected to an increased risk of cancer. The first studies linking talcum powder products to ovarian cancer were published in the 1970s and 80s, and internal memos and documents presented at recent talcum powder trials suggest that Johnson & Johnson knew about this risk for years, yet failed to warn consumers.

New Report Suggests that Talcum Powder Cancer Risk May Disproportionately Affect African American Women

J&J Failed to Warn About Talc Powder Cancer Risk

It’s true that the warning labels on J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder products carry no mention of an increased risk of cancer, only that inhaling the powder, contact with their eyes and applying the powder to areas of broken skin should be avoided. As a result, J&J is being accused of failing to adequately warn consumers and the medical community about the alleged risk of cancer from talcum powder, and the pharmaceutical giant currently faces more than 1,000 product liability lawsuits filed on behalf of women across the country who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes.

Contact an Experienced Talcum Powder Cancer Lawyer Today

Following Jackie Fox’s verdict, another trial in the same St. Louis courthouse was decided in favor of the plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, who was awarded $55 million for an ovarian cancer diagnosis allegedly caused by J&J’s talcum powder. A third talcum powder cancer trial is expected to begin in the coming weeks, involving a product liability claim filed by Tenesha Farrar, a 40-year-old African American woman diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer allegedly caused by talc. If you believe you have been harmed by cancer side effects of talcum powder, contact a knowledgeable product liability lawyer today to discuss the possibility of filing a talcum powder cancer suit against Johnson & Johnson.