Early in February of 2020, Johnson & Johnson lost yet another trial in front of a jury—and was told to pay a nine-figure sum to four plaintiffs who linked their cancer to talcum powder. The company’s baby powder has been used as a hygiene tool for both infants and women for decades. Now, the company faces as many as 10,000 lawsuits from women who have developed cancer they claim is linked to the product.
We stand with the consumers whose lives have been changed because they chose to trust Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder. It’s time for the company to admit its wrongdoing and fully compensate all victims.
What Are the Risks of Using Talcum Powder?
We can all agree that a product, marketed for babies, should consist of the safest materials. Talc is known for being a soft mineral that, when crushed to a powder, can absorb odors. How could that be bad for anyone?
What manufacturers don’t mention is that talc, which occurs naturally, often mingles with another, structurally similar, white substance: asbestos. The risks of asbestos have been known since the early 1920s. The material’s small fibers may become lodged in the lungs or pass into the bloodstreams of any who inhale it. Asbestos exposure is most commonly associated with mesothelioma, a type of cancer that affects internal membranes surrounding our organs, but that is not its only danger. It can also cause cancers of the larynx and ovaries, among others.
Ensuring talcum powder is not contaminated with asbestos can be difficult. In 2018, Reuters published an exposé that revealed Johnson & Johnson was aware of this contamination risk, but yet had been hiding the dangers of its baby powder from regulators and consumers. The company vehemently denied the charges. However, less than a year later, Johnson & Johnson became under fire when the FDA discovered asbestos in a bottle of baby powder.
Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder and insisted the contamination was a very rare occurrence that was not characteristic of their products. They also noted the contamination levels were very low. However, given federal guidelines that specify no amount of asbestos exposure is safe, this argument does little to support Johnson & Johnson’s case.
From Cosmetic to Carcinogen
Cancer victims with a history of using Johnson & Johnson baby powder have challenged the company’s defenses in court. We’ve previously talked about the ways talcum powder has been linked to ovarian cancer. But, even disregarding possible contamination by asbestos, the product may have deadly side effects for long-time users. The science linking talc powder with cancer has been replicated often, meaning such claims are highly credible. Johnson & Johnson’s efforts to suppress this information led to its relative obscurity.
Fortunately, even a multinational corporation can’t cover up the dangers of asbestos. Its links to ovarian cancer does not help the company’s defenses in court; at best, Johnson & Johnson’s lawyers may hope to obscure evidence as to whether plaintiffs’ diagnoses were proximately caused by asbestos or talc. There is no concrete evidence of asbestos contamination in old, long-gone lots of baby powder, and Johnson & Johnson may be hoping this will work in its favor. However, due to the likelihood of contamination, it will be challenging for Johnson & Johnson to convince juries that asbestos was not a factor in these talc-usage ovarian cancer cases.
Do You Think Your Cancer Case Is Linked to Talcum Powder?
If you used baby powder on yourself as an adult or child, and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it is worth investigating the possible ties between the two. As with most dangerous chemicals, your risk of developing cancer increases with your level of exposure.
Companies that place unsafe products into the stream of commerce without properly informing the public of the risks of use should be held accountable for their negligence. Brave consumers who come forward to argue their cases are doing more than just requesting compensation for the treatment they need—they are warning others about the future they may face if they use these dangerous products.
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and consistently used talc powder for at least four years, you may have a case against Johnson & Johnson. Contact our attorneys now for your free consultation. We stand with individuals who are in need of justice.