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Friday, October 4, 2013

Jury weighs talcum powder-cancer link

Talc has been considered a potentially carcinogenic substance.Tody's post is shared from

A jury has been asked to decide whether a Sioux Falls womans ovarian cancer was caused by her use of talcum-based body powder.

Deane Berg, 56, sued Johnson & Johnson in 2009, saying her 30-year use of the companys products for feminine hygiene caused her illness and that the products should have carried warning labels.

Bergs trial began almost two weeks ago in U.S. District Court in South Dakota. Jurors heard testimony from eight expert witnesses who sparred over decades of medical research on the topic and over the meaning of the talc found in Bergs cancer tissue.

Berg, whose cancer is in remission, wants jurors to award damages for medical expenses and punitive damages for failing to warn the public. The company wants jurors to reject the notion that the mineral, which is used in toothpaste, chewing gum and aspirin, carries any real danger for consumers.

During closing arguments Thursday morning, Bergs lawyers said talcum-based powders should carry a warning that notes the association between their use and increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Berg learned of the possible link after her diagnosis in 2006, from a brochure she was offered at Sanford USD Medical Center.

Studies dating as far back as 1971 have found an association. The International Agency For Research on Cancer lists talc as a 2B substance, meaning possibly carcinogenic to humans. Condom manufacturers stopped using the mineral in 1996, and a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary ceased using it in diaphragms that same...
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