What You Need to Know About the Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder is a product we’re all very familiar with. People have been using it for decades, even if they don’t have children, and it can easily be bought for a few dollars at countless stores throughout the country. With a product that’s been around for as long and is as widely used as Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, you might assume that it’s perfectly safe to use. However, over the past few years, the manufacturer has been accused of concealing a link between the regular use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
Over the past few years, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson alleging that they have been aware of a link between talcum powders and an increased risk of ovarian cancer for decades, but have done nothing to alert consumers about that link. The lawsuits have been filed by or on behalf of individuals who have developed ovarian cancer after regularly using Johnson & Johnson talcum powders for feminine hygiene purposes.
Talc is very widely used in cosmetic products and Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, two products that have been named in the lawsuits, both contain talc. In its pure, natural state, talc contains asbestos, which has been known to cause lung cancer if inhaled. If you regularly use a talcum powder or another product which contains talc, don’t panic. It’s very important to note that pure talc has not been used for consumer products since the 1970s. A purified version of talc, which does not contain asbestos, is used instead.
According to the American Cancer Society, there is no link between consumer talcum products and lung cancer. However, research into the link between asbestos-free talc and ovarian cancer is still ongoing. The connection between purified talc and ovarian cancer has been under investigation since 1971, when one study found that many ovarian tumors were found to contain talc particles. Since then, several additional studies have been done with mixed results. While some studies showed a link between exposure to talc and an increased risk of tumor growth, others haven’t. The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists talcum powder use for feminine hygiene as being “possibly carcinogenic.”
If you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer after regularly using talc-based products by Johnson & Johnson, it may be worth consulting a personal injury attorney, particularly if you began using the products before the 1970s. Several of the lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson have been successful. In 2016, one woman was awarded over $70M in damages in October, another was awarded $55M in May, and a jury awarded a third woman $72M in February.
If you regularly use powder products but are worried about the potential risk of cancer, look for cornstarch-based powders to use instead. Many companies that make powder products make cornstarch-based versions, which have not been linked to an increased risk of cancer.