“So far we are just scratching the surface. This is a ticking timebomb.”
As the knowledge regarding the link between Talcum powder and diseases such as Ovarian cancer and mesothelioma grow amongst the population of the Western world, there is also a growing movement for retribution from the companies who knowingly sold the substance to women across the planet without informing them of the cancer risks or the fact that their product had been cross contaminated with asbestos.
Having first begun in earnest in the United States, that movement is now taking off in the UK, where solicitor Phillip Gower is worried that thousands of British women may have cancer linked to the extensive use of talc. Many of these victims would have no idea that their diagnosis is linked to such a ubiquitous and seemingly harmless product.
Most of these women have been using talc since they were teenagers and, for that reason, middle aged women are at vastly higher risk for developing cancer that can be traced back to those products. US victims have already successfully sued talc manufacturers for millions of dollars over the issue and now it seems people in the UK will be doing the same.
Phillip Gower of Simpson Millar solicitors is now teaming up with a US attorney who has already won a number of suits for women injured by talc.
In April, a New Jersey investment banker won $117 million in damages after developing mesothelioma through talc that had been contaminated with asbestos dust and sold through Johnson and Johnson talcum powders.
But it’s not just women who have been effected. Mr. Gower estimates thousands of both men and woman have been affected in Britain alone.
Gower told the Mail Online:
‘It’s a massive scandal and is only going to get bigger.’
‘There is a big problem out there. So far we are just scratching the surface. This is a ticking timebomb.’
‘We believe many women were unaware that using talcum powder could have been bad for them and some of them are now seriously ill.
‘Others have unfortunately died and their families only found out about the potential link afterwards.’
‘People are rightly worried and concerned.
‘It was an incredibly popular product among women just a few decades ago and now unfortunately they and their children are paying the price.
‘They should have been told about the risks but they were kept in the dark.
Talcum powder is made from talc, which is itself found in deposits that are often located near asbestos deposits. As common sense would dictate, the risk of cross-contamination is rather high.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. Being exposed to asbestos fibers has been strongly linked to mesothelioma.
Talc has also been strongly linked to ovarian cancer.
As the Mail Online writes, “Affected brands linked to cases of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma were used by British women in the sixties and seventies as part of their daily beauty regime.” Johnson & Johnson was hit in May by yet another multi-million dollar jury verdict in favor of a woman who said asbestos in its talcum baby powder gave her cancer.
The Mail Online also discusses the case of Joanne Anderson, who was once a frequent user of talcum powder. The agency writes,
Joanne Anderson, 66, who claimed she used the baby powder frequently to keep her hands and feet dry for bowling, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure.
Mrs Anderson, who lives in Williams, Oregon, is one of thousands of people with court cases brought against Johnson & Johnson over talc powder.
A Los Angeles court awarded $4 million (£3m) in punitive damages to Anderson and her husband after getting $21.7 million (£16m) in compensatory damages.
And in October 2016, a jury awarded a woman $70 million (£53m) in damages against Johnson & Johnson after the woman claimed talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer.
Deborah Giannecchini, of Modesto, California was diagnosed with the disease in 2012 and accused the company of ‘negligent conduct’ in making and and marketing the baby powder.
The lawsuit claimed Mrs Giannecchini contracted the disease after using baby powder in an intimate area.
Johnson and Johnson, Old Spice, Desert Flower, and Friendship Garden have all been subject to legal action in the US and all have been ordered to pay. Other large brands have court cases pending.
Mr. Gower’s American partner is Brendan Tully of Phillips Paolicelli attorneys. He was the first attorney to highlight successfully the link between talcum powder and asbestos related cancer in New York State. His lawsuit on behalf of 76 year old Joan Robusto who died of mesothelioma brought in $7 million in compensation.
Tully has won a number of other talcum-related settlements in the US as well and he is planning to do so for victims in the UK.
“These women deserve justice,” he said. “They have been using these products unaware of the potential risks.”
‘Many of these products were shipped to the UK from America with no health warnings on their packaging.’
‘This is a worldwide problem that affected people across the globe.’
The majority of talcum-related cases involve women who contracted ovarian cancer and have been targeted against Johnson and Johnson. Over 7,000 women in the UK were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015 with cases being higher for women between the ages of 75 and 79.
While the American Cancer Society says it isn’t clear that talc products cause cancer or even increase a person’s risk of getting cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, classifies talc containing asbestos as “carcinogenic to humans.”
Indeed, there is some debate about the level to which talc products are linked to cancer but studies are increasingly showing a clear link.
For instance, a study conducted by Harvard University found in 2008 that women who used talcum powder every day were 40% more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
The Asbestos Talc Cancer Link
The Mail Online writes that:
They studied 3,000 women and found using talc once a week raised their risk of cancer by 36 per cent, rising to 41 per cent for those using it every day.
Dr Maggie Gates, who led the study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, urged women to stop using talc until further research is complete.
Dr Daniel Cramer, an epidemiologist at Harvard University and consultant for one of the trials against Johnson & Johnson, has found similar links.
Since 1982, he has published a number of studies on the potential links between talc and ovarian cancer. They show some talcum powders raise the risk by 30 per cent.
Those results are pretty damning and if the recent legal battles are anything to go by, the courts seem to agree.
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Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria,and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 1,000 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.