For years and years, the most common way for a parent to help prevent diaper rash on their baby girl is to use Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder or other talcum powder. However, a startling new link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer has thousands of women concerned about their health.
In 1982, more than 30 years ago, Johnson and Johnson became aware of the possible link between ovarian cancers and talc, after a study was published by a California doctor. The study from 30 years ago shows that out of the 215 women who were in the study, and effected by ovarian cancer, 42.8% regularly used talc powder. (see full study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7083145) Another study was conducted in 1992, which showed that out of the 235 women affected by ovarian cancer, 49% used or were exposed to talc powder to their genitalia for hygiene purposes. This study in 1992 concluded that, “The greatest ovarian cancer risk associated with perineal talc use was observed in the subgroup of women estimated to have made more than 10,000 applications during years when they were ovulating and had an intact genital tract.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1603491).
With data supporting the major increased risk, instead of including a disclosure on the label, Johnson and Jonson instead chose to go after a new market for increased revenue and profit. The new market was targeting African American and Hispanic women.
To date there are thousands of lawsuits accusing Johnson and Johnson of not labeling their products with the possible risks and dangers associated with talc. In a recent lawsuit, a court in St. Louis awarded the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer, $72 million in damages for failure to disclose the risk associated with talc powder. Another 2016 lawsuit against J&J awarded $55 million in damages to a woman who used their product for over 40 years; thankfully, her ovarian cancer is now in remission. In 2013 a court in South Dakota found J&J negligent in not addressing the risks as well, however no damages were awarded. In one case filed in Illinois, Barbara Mihalic claimed that, “Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers of the risks associated with the use of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for feminine hygiene purposes in the female perineum.” This case however was dismissed in its entirety for varying reasons. (http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020151229825/Mihalich%20v.%20Johnson%20&%20Johnson).
With the hundreds of millions of dollars spilling out over these lawsuits, and Johnson and Johnson found guilty of negligence, they still refuse to acknowledge any link between their product and ovarian cancer and state that they will appeal the judge’s decisions in each and every case. Johnson and Johnson representatives state that the decision goes against 30 years of studies that support the safety of cosmetic talc.
With every lawsuit that ends with a loss, Johnson and Johnson loses their ability to try to stop the hemorrhaging of funds. An unrelated case yielded a total loss of 2.2 billion dollars because “the company’s practices recklessly put at risk the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our society – including young children, the elderly and the disabled.” according to the US Attorney General, Eric Holder. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/business/johnson-johnson-to-settle-risperdal-improper-marketing-case.html?_r=0).
It is time for Johnson and Johnson to be held accountable for all of these missteps, and for not recognizing and acknowledging major health concerns with their products. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and have used talc powder on a regular basis, you might have cause to bring legal action. We are working with top Chicago product liability attorneys who are bringing these lawsuits and have a track record of great success. There is no cost to bring the case unless we win. If you would like a free consultation please call us at (800) 517-1614 to discuss a possible case.