Every year approximately 20,000 women get ovarian cancer. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all cancers in women, but it is the most deadly. For years, ovarian cancer has been linked to the use of baby powder, such as the type made by well-known manufacturer Johnson’s & Johnson’s, but to date, no Johnson’s baby powder recall has been made.
Link between baby powder and ovarian cancer
J&J originally began using pulverized talc in its product line in the late 1800s and today it is still a primary ingredient in many of its products. Most of them don’t pose a threat to humans, however, the baby powder is a different story because it’s typically applied to the genital area to absorb moisture, eliminate odors, and prevent irritation. Its dangerous components can travel through the female reproductive system, contributing to the growth of ovarian cancer tumors.
While the exact relationship between talc and ovarian tumors is not clear, researchers have made the correlation that talcum-based baby powders can be hazardous to women. Researchers began to make the connection in 1971, and J&J learned about the potential dangers in 1982 after a comprehensive scientific research suggested a strong link. Long-term follow-up studies, supported by mounting evidence, also conclude there is a harmful link between ovarian cancer talcum powder.
No Johnson’s baby powder recall
Despite the mounting evidence against the female use of baby powders in the genital area, no Johnson’s baby powder recall or warning labels have been initiated by the corporation. Other similar competitor products on the market do have warning labels, but not J&J, instead, it continues to dispute the legitimacy of these studies. The failure by J&J to warn consumers of the possible link between talcum-based powders and cancer is the leading reason so many lawsuits have been brought against the company. Essentially, the company withheld the right of consumers to make their own educated decisions.
Growing number of lawsuits
Over 5,000 lawsuits are currently pending against Johnson & Johnson. Attorneys for five plaintiffs have successfully argued J&J should have warned consumers about the risk. So far, the company has lost all jury verdicts but one with the verdict stating talcum powder contributed to the development of ovarian cancer in the plaintiffs. The most recent being in August 2017 after a California jury awarded $417 million to a 63-year old woman who blamed her illness on Johnson’s Baby Powder, a product she used since she was 11 years old. This is the largest award to date.
In total, Johnson & Johnson has been held responsible to pay approximately $725 hundred-million in damages from these verdicts. Undoubtedly, there will likely be many more favorable plaintiff verdicts to come.
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