Most people have probably used talcum powder at some point in their life. If you are a parent, you may have also applied talcum powder to your baby or young child. Used to absorb moisture, keep skin dry, and prevent rashes, talcum powder has been a favorite American product for decades. But new studies show that talcum powder use may not be as innocuous as its manufacturers would like you to believe. There are currently a number of talcum powder lawsuits that allege that the seemingly harmless product leads to cancer.
Talcum Powder History
Talcum powder is commonly referred to as baby powder, and one of the biggest manufacturers of baby powder is Johnson & Johnson. Used in shampoo, cleaner, deodorant, or diaper rash on babies – among dozens of other products – talcum powder is made from the mineral talc. However, in its natural state, talc often contains asbestos, a type cancer-causing mineral that has been prohibited for use in manufacturing since the 1970s in the United States.
Johnson & Johnson first marketed baby powder in 1894. The success of the product allowed the company to expand its heritage baby business, according to Johnson & Johnson’s website.
The Dangers of Baby Powder
When baby powder was first released to the market, not much was known about the effects of talcum powder on the body, especially long-term. Today, research suggests that talcum powder can lead to deadly forms of cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, talcum powder has been linked with the following types of cancers:
- Ovarian cancer. Many women will apply talcum powder to their underwear or genital area to reduce moisture and promote freshness. If baby powder is applied to the genital area, it may lead to ovarian cancer. This may be true regardless of whether or not the powder contains asbestos.
- Lung cancer. Because some talcum powders contain asbestos, inhalation of these powders may lead to certain forms of lung cancers.
- Other cancers. While the American Cancer Society does not provide more details, itswebsite states that talcum powder has been linked to a number of different cancer types, including endometrial cancer.
Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits – What You Need to Know
One family was recently awarded a $72 million settlement after the family alleged that baby powder and other talc-containing products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson were the cause of fatal ovarian cancer of the woman on whose behalf the suit was filed. The family was awarded $10 million in actual damages, and another $62 million in punitive damages, according to an article in USA Today.
Johnson & Johnson was held liable for the decedent’s harm based not only on the fact that it manufactured a dangerous product, but that it had knowledge of the fact that the product could lead to ovarian cancer and continued to market the product regardless. In fact, as early as 1997, an internal medical consultant for Johnson & Johnson sent a memo stating that anyone who denied the connection between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer was denying the obvious.
The family of the deceased woman is not the only one who is taking legal action against the company. There are dozens of lawsuits pending against the company, filed by women who claim that their ovarian cancer would not have developed but for the use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-containing products.
Regardless of gender, it is imperative that you proceed with caution when applying any type of product to your genitals. Creams, powders, and the like may contain cancer-causing ingredients, or ingredients that can lead to other health repercussions over time.
What to Do If You Believe You Are a Talcum Powder Victim
If you believe that you or a loved one would not have suffered cancer but for use of talcum powder, and if you are interested in learning more about talcum powder lawsuits, you should speak with an attorney immediately. You may be able to join an existing class-action lawsuit or file an independent civil action against the talcum powder’s manufacturer.
Talcum powder is still in use in many cosmetic products today. If you are using any talcum powders, it is advised that you cease use immediately in order to protect yourself.
Our Experienced Legal Team Can Help
When companies put profits over people, people get hurt. If you are one of Johnson & Johnson’s – or another company’s – victims, the attorneys at the law firm of Riddle & Brantley, LLP, want to help you. We will work hard to gather all of the evidence necessary to build a strong claim, to file your suit in a timely manner, to prove the damages that you have suffered, and to negotiate for a fair settlement amount. To learn more about how we can help you, use our online form to request a free case consultation or call our offices directly. Our attorneys are passionate about holding negligent manufacturers responsible for the harm that they cause.