Baby powder is a form of talcum powder containing “talc,” a naturally occurring mineral made up of magnesium, silicone, and oxygen. Talcum powders are a popular personal care product and can help to avoid moisture and skin friction. Talcum and baby powders can naturally contain asbestos, a well-known carcinogenic that can cause lung cancers, mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and other diseases. According to the American Cancer Society, there is a possible link between the use of talcum powder and the risk of developing lung cancer, as well as a potential risk to develop ovarian cancer.
In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall of one baby powder, asking customers to stop using it immediately and ask the company for a refund.
The Connection Between Baby Powder and Cancer
Talcum powder has been controversial for many decades. In the 1970s, medical researchers found talc particles embedded in ovarian tumors, leading the researchers to suggest that talc could play a part in developing such cancers.
Talcum powder is being tested and studied extensively, and other studies emerged, either suggesting that talcum powder may cause cancer, or reporting that there is no statistically significant link between ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder. A study by the National Center for Health Research (NCHR), established that women can have as much as a 30% higher risk for developing ovarian cancer if they use baby powder. While the exact reason for this increased risk remains unclear, according to the study it may have to do with an inflammatory response to the presence of talcum powder fibers.
However, while the potential for talcum powder to cause cancers is unclear, talcum powder containing asbestos is generally known to have cancer-causing potential, if inhaled.
Asbestos Can Cause Cancer
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that many industries previously used, such as construction. Exposure to asbestos, especially inhalation, can be lethal. Asbestos can cause several cancers; for example, mesothelioma, cancers of the lung and larynx, and ovarian cancer. Asbestos has a long latency period which means that it can take decades before a sufferer develops cancer after exposure and inhalation of asbestos fibers.
Since baby powder is often applied by shaking the powder onto the skin directly from the bottle, tiny particles can become airborne and subsequently inhaled. If asbestos is present in baby powder, it is possible to inhale asbestos fibers and develop illnesses decades later.
Direct application to the skin, especially genital areas, can also cause the fibers to enter the body. While baby powder use may be safe, using powder that contains asbestos, a well-known carcinogenic, does put consumers at risk.
Cancer Sufferers May Have Legal Recourse
Cancer can take many decades to develop after exposure to a harmful chemical or substance, and this is especially true for asbestos-related cancers. Even if you have not used talcum powder or baby powder for many years, or even decades, a potential exposure to asbestos in younger years can lead to cancer later on. Speaking to a talcum powder lawyer can help you get some clarity on the legal issues surrounding talcum powder lawsuits.
If you are suffering from ovarian cancer or lung cancers, and suspect that the cancer stems from your use of baby or talcum powder, you could receive compensation. While it can be daunting to think about holding a large company to account, the fact that plaintiffs took this course of action either alone or with class-action lawsuits shows that there is legal recourse.
Speak to our dedicated team and find out more about baby and talcum powder recalls and lawsuits. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free no-obligation consultation: (800) 794-0444.