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Talcum Powder History

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Talc Letter 1

Talc History

What is Talc?

Talc is a mineral that is composed of different elements, mainly magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is a mineral made of up various elements including magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is ground to make talcum powder which is used to absorb moisture and is widely available in various products including baby powder and adult products including body and facial powder.

Talc Timeline

  • 1930s – First records of the harmful effects of talc on human tissue
  • 1971 – Researchers discover talc particles on 75 percent of ovarian tumors they examined
  • 1973 – FDA requires talcum powders to be asbestos-free by law
  • 1980s – Reports show that accidental inhalation of baby powder by infants can lead to serious illness or death
  • 1992 – Researchers determine that regular application of talcum powder to a female’s genital area increases the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer
  • 1993 – The National Toxicology Program reports that cosmetic talc could cause tumors in animals
  • 2003 – Anticancer Research journal published a large scale review of various reviews, stating that there was a 33 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer with long-term use of talcum powder products
  • 2013 – Deanne Berg won the suit against Johnson & Johnson after it failed to warn consumers of the risk of developing ovarian cancer due to its talcum powder products
  • 2016 – A jury in City of St. Louis, Mo., Circuit Court found Johnson & Johnson liable for the development of Plaintiff Jacqueline Fox’s ovarian cancer and awarded her family a verdict of $72 million. Ms. Fox passed away from her cancer in October 2015. The verdict includes $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages.