It is a common misconception that babies and women are the only ones who use talcum powder. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a wide array of talc products available in the market, and talcum powder use is also common with men.
And although the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer remains the strongest, there is also a growing concern about how the use of talc powder products could increase cancer risk for men, as well.
In connection with this, thousands of women have already filed a talcum powder lawsuit, claiming that years of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder use caused them to develop ovarian cancer or other forms of cancer. The victims also argue that the company knew for decades the dangers associated with their talc product, but decided not to warn consumers of these risks.
The safety of talcum powder has been in scrutiny for several years now, and because men sometimes use these products too for personal hygiene, concerns regarding the link between talcum powder and testicular cancer have been growing.
Read on to learn more about the potential risks men could get exposed to by using talcum powder products.
Where do you apply talcum powder for men?
Talcum powder is often used for its anti-irritant properties as it helps control sweating and absorbs moisture. For these reasons, men like to use it as a part of their personal hygiene and apply it in their groin area.
Add to that the fact that it is a rather cheap product to buy, making it one of the most widely used hygiene products across all genders. Some men also use talc as a body deodorant because of its delicate and fragrant aroma.
However, talc, which is the primary ingredient in talc based baby powder products, contains asbestos. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen, or a substance that causes cancer or helps cancer grow.
A rare cancer called mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure.
What is the link between talcum powder and testicular cancer?
As of writing, there is no evidence that directly connects talcum powder to the development of testicular cancer. But this does not mean that men are completely exempt from the bad effects of talc. In fact, in 2018, a jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $117 million in damages to a man who claimed that regular use of talcum powder caused his mesothelioma cancer.
In the end, the court ruled that decades-long use of Johnson baby powder had indeed given him cancer, resulting in the million dollar payout.
Other various cancers that talcum powder can cause, including ovarian cancer, lung cancer, uterine cancer, and mesothelioma, should also be enough to make you rethink about using an alternative to talcum powder.
A 2017 meta-analysis indicated that exposure to talc with and without asbestos can both cause elevated cancer risks. This suggests that other factors apart from just the mere presence of asbestos play a role in the cancer risk long-associated with talc.
Furthermore, a 2008 research analysis found that among other forms of cancer, talc was primarily linked to various lung cancers.
What can men use instead of baby powder?
Given the risk of various cancers associated with talcum powder, it is only natural that anyone would want to use talc-free substitutes if they want to take care of their genital hygiene.
Cornstarch is the most commonly used alternative to talcum powder. It is often found in organic baby powders and its absorbent properties are equal to that of talcum powder’s. But unlike talc, cornstarch is not associated with any cancer risks or other potential dangers.
Tapioca starch is another alternative to talc powder products that comes from the cassava plant found in South America. It absorbs moisture and oil and makes the skin soft and silky when used as a body powder, minus the potential risks.
Lastly, kaolin clay, otherwise known as cosmetic clay, can be found in several cosmetics, deodorants, and soaps. It has great absorbent proeprties and is also gentle on sensitive skin.
Commercial products of these talc alternatives are readily available on local grocery stores or drugstores and can even be bought online.
What does the research say about talc safety?
Years of scientific research have established a strong connection between talc use and cancer. In fact, leading health organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization have recognized an association between talc exposure in women who use talc based products for feminine hygiene and an increased risk of uterine cancers such as ovarian cancer and endometrial ovarian cancer.
A 2010 study also linked genital talcum powder use to ovarian cancer risk, suggesting that talc particles enter the uterine lining or endometrium and cause inflammation that could lead to cancer.
The growing evidence on the negative effects of talc was challenged by Johnson & Johnson itself in the 1970s when the company developed a strategy to promote only the positive and conceal from the public the unsatisfactory results their talc based powder got on talc safety studies.
A Reuters investigation found how J&J protected its baby powder franchise: the company commissioned and paid for the study, communicated to researchers the results it wanted to publish, and hired a ghostwriter to make changes on the findings published in a journal in favor of J&J.
This is why it comes with little surprise that many people were outraged and filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, claiming that the company knew all along the risks associated with their product but deliberately did nothing to add a warning label to their top-grossing product nor warn the public about those dangers.
Did you develop cancer after talcum powder exposure?
Cancer is a terrible disease and no one deserves to live with this illness. Cancer does not only affect one’s pysical condition, but it can also cause significant changes to a patient’s emotional health. However, it is even more enraging when you know your condition could have been avoided if some companies bothered to warn consumers about the risks of their products instead of protecing their franchise.
Luckily, the law has given us tools to make abusive companies accountable for their actions — one of them is filing a lawsuit. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, lung cancer, or mesothelioma after years of using Johnson & Johnsons baby powder products, you may qualify for a talcum powder lawsuit.
To be sure about your eligibility, you can contact us today and we will put you in touch with a talcum powder attorney who can help evaluate your potential claim with no upfront costs. After all, our lawyers know how stressful it can be to fight cancer while participating in a legal battle. But that’s exactly what they’re here for — they’re here to take all the pressure off of you and achieve the justice you deserve on your behalf so you can focus on what matters most at the moment — getting better.