Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical company famous for products such as Aveeno moisturizer, Band-Aids, Benadryl and, most infamously, their signature Johnson’s Baby Powder, is being sued by over 1,000 women who are blaming the use of their talc-based powder for their ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits
Research of the cancer-causing effects of talcom powder began in the 1970’s, and since then most studies have found a strong correlation between its use and ovarian cancer.
Talcum powder is a popular product meant to absorb moisture and prevent rashes. It is made from talc, the common name for hydrated magnesium silicate, and has been marketed for over 120 years as a baby powder and a powder meant to absorb sweat in adults.
Lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have been going on for years, however it is only recently that courts have been ruling against the pharmaceutical giant.
One recent case of a successful lawsuit against the company was when the family of a cancer victim was award $72 million in damages after Jacqueline Fox, a regular uses of Johnson & Johnson baby powder for over 35 years, died of ovarian cancer.
The family argued that Johnson & Johnson did not warm its customers of the cancer-risk that their talc-based products provided, claiming that it very well may have been the cause of Fox’s death. The jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy, and ordered the company to pay the family $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damage.
Talcum Powder and Cancer
Many different studies have linked the use of talcum powder to cancer. Manyof them attribute its cancer-causing properties to that fact that many forms of talc contain asbestos, a well-known human carcinogen, however asbestos-free talcum powder has still been linked to ovarian cancer.
During lab studies, researchers found that animals exposed to asbestos-free talcum powder developed tumor formations. Many human studies and surveys found that women who heavily used talcum powder experienced increased incidences of ovarian cancer.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of at least some correlation between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson still denies any link between the two, according to Shelley Kohut, director of communications and public relations with Johnson & Johnson.
“The recent U.S. verdict goes against decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products, and while we sympathize with the family of the plaintiff, we strongly disagree with the outcome,” Kohut told CBC news in a statement.
For more information on products that you didn’t know could increase your risk of cancer, click here.
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