The American Cancer Society Warned Years Ago That All Talc In Its Raw Form Contains Asbestos
Johnson & Johnson and other cosmetic and health-care product companies that use talc are required to screen their supplies for the presence of asbestos
Friday, September 28, 2018 - Thousands of women with ovarian or lung cancer have filed suit against Johnson & Johnson claiming that the iconic Johnson's Baby Powder caused their cancer. Such a statement of cause and effect is shocking to people who have used the product regularly over the course of their entire lifetimes for activities as innocent as powdering a baby's bottom or drying off after a shower. Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson argued that there is no authentic scientific evidence that proves that their talc supply contains asbestos, a known carcinogenic material found to occur naturally in the earth nor is there any evidence that talc in and of itself is carcinogenic. Cross contamination is feared as talc and asbestos mines can be in close proximity to one another and also that other countries such as China have extremely lax asbestos screening requirements. Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Imreys Inc. mine talc for the company at various location throughout the world.
Attorneys for plaintiffs suing JNJ cite the testimony of expert witnesses that specialize in scanning everyday substances like talcum powder for the presence of cancer-causing agents such as asbestos. One such scientist testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs was able to convince a jury of the authenticity of his research that found particles of asbestos in samples of Johnson's Baby Powder and awarded 22 plaintiffs $4.7 billion in damages.
On the other side, defendants like JNJ rely on organizations such as the American Cancer Society (ACS) to weigh in on matters as important as this. The ACS says that all talc in its natural form contains some asbestos, "a substance that is known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled," and that "All talcum products used in homes in the United States have been asbestos-free since the 1970s." JNJ has placed a warning label on Johnson's Baby Powder telling consumers to keep the product out of reach of children and that inhaling talc particles can cause breathing problems. A judge has determined recently that no further warning is needed at this time.
Two separate lawsuits have recently concluded where plaintiffs claimed that Johnson's Baby Powder caused their cancer. In both trials, Johnson's co-defendant and talc supplier Imreys Inc. settle the cases before allowing the case to go to the jury. Billions of dollars have been awarded to plaintiffs in the form of punitive damages meant to punish Johnson & Johnson who it is alleged knew that Johnson's Baby Powder contained asbestos yet did nothing to warn consumers. Prior to the claims of mesothelioma, women that have used Johnson's Baby Powder in the peritoneal region for hygiene purposed and are now suffering from ovarian cancer have sued JNJ. Six cases have concluded, four in favor of the plaintiff and two in favor of JNJ. A guilty verdict in a third case was overturned on jurisdictional grounds. Talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit claims continue to be filed by women affected from the regular use of baby powder.