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The dangers of talcum powder: Ovarian cancer

Talcum powder, also known as baby powder, is produced from a substance called 'talc.' This substance occurs naturally in nature and contains silicon, oxygen, hydrogen and magnesium. It has been a common product in cosmetics and hygiene products for over 100 years. However, it can also be dangerous.

Men and women alike have used talc to care for their bodies. Talc is widely used in products ranging from baby powders to cosmetics and facial powders. It naturally absorbs moisture and helps keep skin dry. Many female consumers use this product on their genital area for these purposes. However, its safety has been questioned in recent years.

Beginning in 2013, Johnson & Johnson -- a maker of numerous hygiene products -- was hit with several lawsuits from women who claimed that the use of talcum powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Even worse, the lawsuits said that the manufacturer had been aware of the ovarian cancer dangers, but purposefully failed to warn consumers.

According to the plaintiffs in the lawsuits, the powder can cause ovarian cancer when it goes into the vagina, into the uterus and enters the fallopian tubes, gaining access to the ovaries. However, Johnson & Johnson claims that sufficient statistical data does not exist to prove the connection between talc and ovarian cancer.

In addition to ovarian cancer risks, talc can also cause other diseases related to the lungs when it's inhaled. As such, Pennsylvania consumers may want to avoid using this potentially lethal products. Also, consumers who suspect that they have developed a serious talc-related illness may want to investigate their legal rights and options to pursue financial compensation in court.

Source: FindLaw, "Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits," accessed Dec. 20, 2017

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