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Talcum powder is a long-used substance that prevents things from sticking together. It is especially useful when putting on rubber gloves or changing a baby’s diaper. Sadly, long-term exposure to the talc used to create talcum powder is connected to the onset of cancer in women. With cancer caused by talc potentially afflicting families in West Virginia, a mass tort might be in order.

How talc could cause cancer

Recent medical studies show a connection between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer in women. Exposure to talc when applied to the genitals via sanitary napkins, condoms or diaphragms occurs with many women. Some studies have shown a connection between talc exposure and ovarian cancer while others indicate no significant difference between those who use talc and those who do not but still suffer from ovarian cancer.

Other studies show that talcum powder might increase the risk of uterine cancer in women and stomach cancers in both sexes. When inhaled, miners harvesting talc and others who experience a great deal of exposure to talc dust might suffer a higher risk of stomach cancer. Thus far, no studies are conclusive, but correlations do exist, and further testing continues.

Talc declared “possibly carcinogenic”

The correlations to the onset of cancers and existing knowledge are enough for the International Agency for Research on Cancer to classify talc as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” and a potential threat to public health. Talc often is combined with asbestos, the combination of which the IARC says definitely is carcinogenic. When used alone on genitalia, the potential link to ovarian and uterine cancers is more likely in women.

Those who have used talc regularly and suffered the onset of cancer may benefit from an experienced mass tort attorney in West Virginia. The attorney may work to gather evidence, including expert medical testimony, to present the strongest possible case.