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Manufacturer knew baby powder contained cancer-causing substance

Many have long suspected that a link exists between baby powder and cancer, with thousands of women coming forward over the years to assert that they developed cancer after prolonged use of the product. Now, a recent investigation has revealed that the manufacturer of the talc powder in question not only knew about its risks and neglected to inform its consumers, but also had knowledge of them for quite some time.

USA Today details the story of a recent Reuters investigation that revealed that doctors, company executives and others working for the product manufacturer were aware of a link between talc powder and asbestos since 1972 or even earlier. Despite having this knowledge that their product showed traces of asbestos, company executives failed to alert the public about the possible risks associated with long-term use, and now, thousands of users have filed suit against the product maker.

Ongoing litigation

Asbestos, which investigations revealed appeared in small amounts in the manufacturer's raw talc product, has a scientific link to mesothelioma, which is an aggressive and rare cancer that can form on the tissues surrounding the lungs, heart, abdomen and other organs. Scientific evidence also suggests that a link exists between mesothelioma and ovarian and other cancers, leading many scientists and health professionals to question the role prolonged baby powder usage plays in it all. Roughly 11,700 women have filed lawsuits against the baby powder manufacturer alleging that their use of the product caused them to develop cancer, with many who used baby powder for hygienic purposes later developing ovarian cancer, among other forms.

While many women who are making similar allegations against the manufacturer have yet to have their day in court, others have found success after filing suit against the product maker. In one court case last year, 22 women in Missouri received a combined $4.7 billion in damages after a court concluded that baby powder did, in fact, cause their cancer.

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