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Talcum Powder Maker Tries to Dismiss Ovarian Cancer Risks

Posted on March 10, 2016

Recently, a St. Louis jury ordered product manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million to the family of a woman who died after using talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes. Evidence presented in the case claimed that the victim used talcum powder products in this manner her entire life, leading her to contract ovarian cancer. The woman died from the disease in early 2015. Her family’;s wrongful death suit alleged that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers that using talc for feminine hygiene increased the risk of ovarian cancer.

Of the $72 million the family was awarded, $10 million was for compensatory damages such as medical and funeral bills, and the remaining $62 million was for punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the company for their negligent actions. During the trial, internal documents showed that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the link between talc and ovarian cancer for years, but withheld that information from the public.

After negative media attention and new consumer awareness about the risk of ovarian cancer related to talc use emerged, Johnson & Johnson finally took action. In a blog post published in late February 2015 on the company website, Johnson & Johnson claimed that talc is perfectly safe for feminine hygiene use. Titled The Facts About Talc Safety, the blog post referenced several academic research papers and epidemiology studies that found no link between talc and health problems.
What the post doesn’;t mention is that the overwhelming evidence of more recent studies points to a link between talc use and the risk of contracting ovarian cancer. A 2013 study published in the Cancer Prevention Research medical journal suggested that using talc for feminine hygiene increased ovarian cancer risk by up to 30 percent.

For years, Johnson & Johnson’;s baby powder has been commonly used by women for feminine hygiene purposes. The company even introduced a scented version of this product, called Johnson & Johnson’;s Shower-to-Shower talcum powder, just for this purpose. Johnson & Johnson’;s talcum powders only warn consumers about getting powder in their eyes, inhaling powder, or applying powder to broken skin.

Contact Us

Farah & Farah is currently investigating injuries and deaths related to talcum powder use. If you or a loved one have suffered serious medical issues after using talc, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached at (800) 533-3555.