Talc products sold by Johnson & Johnson, have been shown to test positive for asbestos contamination on baby powder products including their popular J&J Baby Powder, may cause cancer.
Thousands of consumers who developed cancer after using J&J talc products are now filing lawsuits against the company claiming damages.
Agrochemical giant Bayer made its first arguments in early June in its appeal to overturn a $289 million verdict against the company in a case alleging that its Roundup weedkiller product causes cancer.
Talc is a highly absorbent mineral that has been added to many hygiene products since the 1800s. Talc is a main ingredient in J&J Baby Powder and other products like Shower to Shower Body Powder. Because of its naturally soft properties, talc powder products prevent skin from chafing and rubbing. Because it is absorbent, talc also keeps skin dry and prevents rashes. Talc is a naturally occurring mineral made up of silicon, magnesium and oxygen. Applying talc powder to the body is not inherently dangerous or risky.
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Some talc, however, contains health affecting asbestos, a substance that was once commonly used in heavy industry and construction but is now known to cause cancer. Natural talc deposits in the earth are often located next to asbestos deposits. When talc is mined, it is sometimes contaminated with asbestos. When this talc with asbestos contamination is used to make consumer products like baby powder, the asbestos presents a risk to anyone who uses the product.
The evidence regarding asbestos is very clear. It is listed as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer. Medical studies since the 1970s have also shown a link between asbestos-contaminated talc and ovarian cancer, as well as a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma. Case-control studies have repeatedly shown that talc powder products increase users’ risk of developing ovarian cancer. The WHO has now declared talc that contains asbestos as “carcinogenic to humans.”
Asbestos contamination on baby powder products containing talc like the J&J baby powder presents a major risk to consumers. However, J&J has repeatedly denied the link between its talc products and cancer. At the same time, internal company documents from J&J show that the company knew its talc was contaminated with asbestos. Internal memos show the company’s leadership worked to conceal this evidence from consumers.
As the link between asbestos contamination on baby powder and cancer has become clear, a growing number of lawsuits seek damages from J&J to compensate consumers injured by their talc products. As evidence shows that J&J knew about carcinogenic risks from its talc products, consumers are eligible to file suit against J&J.
In 2016, courts began to rule in consumers’ favor, ordering J&J to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to cancer patients and their families. In 2019, the US Department of Justice opened an investigation into J&J for deliberately concealing the risks to consumers from contaminated talc products.
The number of talc cases against J&J continues to grow, especially from women who developed ovarian cancer after using J&J talc products. Personal injury lawyers are working with cancer patients, survivors and their families to advocate for their right to compensation and damages. Because of J&J’s corporate wrongdoing and unethical behavior, talc powder lawsuits are now awarding consumers billions of dollars in damages.
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