Tort Updates

Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Under Fire

For years, Johnson & Johnson has been facing lawsuits alleging that their baby powder contains talc, a mineral, that has caused ovarian cancer in women.

For years, Johnson & Johnson has been facing lawsuits alleging that their baby powder contains talc, a mineral, that has caused ovarian cancer in women. The foundation of these lawsuits is that Johnson &Johnson knew they were selling a product that contained a cancer-causing agent and were aware of this for decades but put blinders on and did not warn their customers of the grave risks of the product.

Johnson & Johnson's History with Talc

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that is composed of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. It is often used in powders, cosmetics, and other personal care products because it absorbs moisture and prevents caking.

Talc can be found in many types of cosmetic products including baby powder. For many years, Johnson & Johnson has marketed its baby powder as being "safe and gentle" for use on babies. In reality, however, the company has known for decades that its product contains asbestos, a known carcinogen.

As early as the 1970s, studies began emerging that linked the regular use of talcum powder on the genital area to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Despite this knowledge, Johnson & Johnson continued to market its product to women as being safe for use on their bodies without disclosing the potential risks.

In 1982, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) askedJohnson & Johnson to start testing their talcum powder products for asbestos contamination after finding asbestos in several samples of the powder.The company complied with the FDA's request and began testing their products.However, they did not make the results of those tests public until decades later.

From 1983 to 2002, Johnson & Johnson's own tests found asbestos in at least 33% of the samples they tested. In some cases, the levels of asbestos found were high enough to be considered "hazardous waste." Despite these findings, the company continued to sell their talcum powder products without disclosing the dangers to consumers.

The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that can cause mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs or abdomen. When inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers can lodge themselves in these tissues and cause inflammation and cell damage that can lead to cancerous tumors.  

There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos; even short-term exposure can have serious health consequences. Women who regularly use talcum powder on their genital area have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer; this risk is particularly high for those who have used the product for many years or who have used large amounts of it on a regular basis.

Despite the clear dangers posed by asbestos exposure,Johnson& Johnson guarded the information about the presence of asbestosis in their product for years—and they are not the only ones guilty of such a thing.Several other companies have also been accused of knowingly selling products containing asbestos without disclosing the risks to consumers.  

What If I Was Exposed To Toxic Talcum Powder?

These companies knew their cosmetic products contained a dangerous substance yet chose to put profits before people. Women who have used talcum powder in their genital area should be seeing their healthcare provider regularly and getting screened for ovarian cancer . If you have been diagnosed with ovarian tumors and have a history of talcum powder use, you may have legal options available to you.

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