The Safety of Johnson & Johnson Talcum Products

The safety of Johnson & Johnson talcum products is under intense scrutiny following recent trials and the two juries finding that there is a correlation between use of talcum products and the development of ovarian cancer. Talc is a mined mineral which contains heavy metals such as cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, and nickel. When talc powder is used on the genitals, particles can migrate into the body tubes causing inflammation and can cause ovarian cancer.

Talc is considered a cosmetic and not regulated the United States Food and Drug Administration. This allowed for Johnson & Johnson to avoid independent research and enabled them to conceal the harmful effects of its product line.

In 2016, there have been two trials against Johnson & Johnson. In the first case, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million in damages after lawyers for the Plaintiff’s Estate proved that use of Johnson and Johnson’s talc powder caused the decedent’s ovarian cancer which resulted in her death. In the second trial, another St. Louis jury awarded $55 million for a living plaintiff whose ovarian cancer is now in remission. Both juries found that Johnson & Johnson was negligent in the research, development, testing, marketing, and sale of their talcum powers which includes Shower to Shower and Johnson’s baby powder. Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers of the increased risk of using on the genital area causing ovarian cancer.

Documents produced at trial showed that clinical studies in the 1970’s and the 1980’s showed that perineal use of talcum products caused an increased use of ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson tried to downplay the epidemiological studies and ignored the requests by the medical community to warn and/or remove from their products from the market. Johnson & Johnson’s own consultant advised the company to acknowledge the risk and warn of the correlation between use and ovarian cancer. In 2006, Imerys Talc America, who supplied the talc to Johnson & Johnson, began putting warning labels on talc being shipped to Johnson & Johnson, however, the company failed to pass these warnings on to the consumers and users. The World Health Organization recognizes talc as a possible carcinogen.

If you are or a loved one used Johnson & Johnson talc products and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, please contact our office for a free consultation.