For more than 100 years, Johnson & Johnson has marketed products containing talc as an essential part of the daily hygiene regimen. Women were encouraged to use the products each morning for a variety of reasons. Marketing messages have included "Just a sprinkle a day helps keep odor away." Recently, however, a devastating link between the mineral talc and ovarian cancer has left women searching for answers.
More than 1,000 women have filed lawsuits against the consumer product company, Johnson & Johnson, claiming that the company knowingly sold dangerous products to consumers. Most of the cases have been filed in Missouri and New Jersey - states in which Johnson & Johnson maintains headquarters. In February, a Missouri court awarded $72 million in damages. In early May, a jury in a Missouri state court returned a verdict that awarded a cancer survivor $55 million in damages. Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal both decisions.
While Johnson & Johnson continues to claim that products containing talc are safe, studies dating back to 1971 have linked talc to cancer. Most recently, in May of 2016, a study was published that stated that among African-American women, genital use of powder is linked with a 44 percent increased risk for invasive epithelial ovarian cancer.
Cancer can be challenging to study due to various factors including genetic and environmental influence. However, there appears to be a recent groundswell of data linking the compositional elements of products such as Baby Powder and Shower to Shower to the increased risk of ovarian cancer. While studies and statistics will always lead to scientific dispute, it is crucial that women understand the risks associated with different feminine hygiene products.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it is important to know your legal options. An experienced personal injury attorney can listen to the facts of your case and provide the clear guidance that you need.