Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Mesothelioma

Talcum powder, including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder, may increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene purposes.

Breaking 2/22/16: J&J ordered to pay $72 million in first trial over talcum powder.

Johnson & Johnson “must pay $72 million to the family of a woman who blamed her fatal ovarian cancer on the company’s talcum powder in the first state-court case over the claims to go to trial.” The St. Louis jury ordered the company to pay $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages.

Breaking 5/2/16: J&J ordered to pay $55 million in second trial.

 A Missouri state court jury has found that Johnson & Johnson must pay $55 million to a woman who claimed the company ignored studies linking its Shower-to-Shower talcum powder to ovarian cancer risks. The plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 after using the talcum powder and was awarded $5 million in compensation and $50 million in punitive damages.

 NBC runs a quote from the jury forewoman, Teri Brickey, who said, “She was using a product that she thought was perfectly safe. Had no idea that it might be dangerous. And that that product then had some causation for her cancer.”

 Talcum Powder Increases the Risk for Ovarian Cancer

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral, mined from the earth, composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Chemically, talc is a hydrous magnesium silicate. When talc is ground into a powder form it can absorb moisture.

When talcum powder is applied to the genital (perineum) area, research suggests that talc particles can migrate and travel through the vagina, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Talc can cause inflammation and irritation in healthy tissue, and when chronic, the inflammation can contribute to the development of cancer.

In 1971, a study published by the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found talc particles deeply embedded within ovarian tumor tissue in women with ovarian cancer.

In 1982, Dr. Daniel Cramer and other Harvard researchers found that women had a 92% increased risk for ovarian cancer when regularly using talc as either a dusting powder on the genital area or on sanitary napkins. Women who regularly engaged in both practices had a 228% increased risk for ovarian cancer compared to women with neither exposure.

In 1992, a Johns Hopkins study found a 379% increased risk for epithelial ovarian cancer from talc use on sanitary napkins.

In 2008, Massachusetts researchers found that women who regularly used talc were at a 36% increased ovarian cancer risk.

In 2011, Harvard researchers found that genital talcum powder use after bathing was associated with a 27% increased ovarian cancer risk.

In 2013, a study published by Cancer Prevention Research found that genital powder use was associated with a 24% increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.

In December 2015, a study published by the journal, Epidemiology, found that genital talc use was associated with a 33% increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.

The lead author, Dr. Daniel Cramer, noted that “Talc is a good drying agent, but women should know that if it’s used repeatedly, it can get into the vagina and into their upper genital tract. And I think if they knew that, they wouldn’t use it.” Dr. Cramer first reported a link between genital talc and ovarian cancer in 1982.

Johnson & Johnson is currently facing more than 1,200 lawsuits alleging its products have led to ovarian cancer. There is no warning on Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower Powder that there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

If you or a loved one regularly applied Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower Powder, or another talc-based powder for feminine hygiene purposes and were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may be entitled to a cash award and compensation for medical expenses.

 Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced talcum powder lawyers via phone at 1.800.988.8005 or by submitting an email inquiry (see form to the right). Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.


Johnson’s® Baby Powder is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.

Shower to Shower® is a trademark of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. Prior to 2012, it was a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.

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