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Meyers & Flowers is reviewing claims on behalf of women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum or baby powder near the genitals. Since 1971, more than 20 studies have linked talc powder to ovarian cancer, and, in 2003, an analysis of 16 of these studies found that women using talcum powder were 33 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

It has been alleged that Johnson & Johnson, the maker of popular talc-based powders, including Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, knew about the ovarian cancer risk since at least 1982, but failed to warn women using these products.

Recent cases have revealed new risks with the talcum powder leading to mesothelioma due to asbestos contamination. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and is considered unsafe at any level of exposure. According to the Mayo Clinic, most cases of mesothelioma are linked to exposure to asbestos.

If you or someone you know developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using talcum or baby powder, our attorneys would like to speak with you. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the powder you used.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit: J&J Knew About the Link Between Talc Powder and Ovarian Cancer

In one of the most notable cases, a jury found in 2013 that Johnson & Johnson should have warned women about the risk of developing ovarian cancer when using its talcum and baby powders near the genitals. In that case, the plaintiff alleged that she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products for nearly 30 years.

According to the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson knew about the link between talc powder and cancer since as early as 1982, when a landmark study found that women using these products as personal powders were at a 92 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Following the study, researchers allegedly recommended that the company place a warning for this risk on its talcum powders; however, to this day, Johnson & Johnson’s talc powders do not include any warnings about the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Asbestos Contamination of Talcum-Based Baby Powder and Mesothelioma

The white Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder bottle with the pink and blue writing sits in most medicine cabinets and cupboards throughout the U.S. Introduced in the late 1800s, the powder was originally used to help treat and prevent diaper rash. The product is made from the mineral talc, which is mined from underground deposits. The talc deposits often have asbestos veins running through them.

Asbestos is carcinogenic and is known to cause a cancer called mesothelioma and is considered unsafe at any level of exposure. In 2018, New York Times and Reuters reported on a series of secret memos, some from more than 50 years ago, stating concerns from Johnson & Johnson executives that the “main ingredient in its best-selling baby powder could potentially be contaminated by asbestos, the dangerous mineral that can cause cancer.”

The memos outlined the need for higher quality controls and raised flags about asbestos-contamination of talc mines. The company kept this information from regulators, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the public. Meanwhile, more than 50 years later, women and men continue using talc-based baby and bath powders for personal hygiene, possibly inhaling asbestos dust and exposing themselves to deadly cancers.

Talcum Powder and Asbestos Verdicts

Damages against Johnson & Johnson continue to mount as juries across the U.S. return verdicts against the pharmaceutical giant in cases linking its talcum powder-based products with ovarian cancer and now, mesothelioma. Here are a few notable cases:

  • In 2018, a Missouri jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women. The women alleged the company’s talc-based baby powders contained asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
  • In 2019, a New Jersey jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a total of $37.3 million to four plaintiffs who said they said they developed mesothelioma from asbestos in the company’s Baby Powder.
  • In 2019, a California jury returned a $29 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson to a woman who developed mesothelioma after using the talc-based product.

Recalls and Federal Agencies ask for Oversight

In late 2019, more than 33,000 bottles of Johnsons Baby Powder were recalled by Johnson & Johnson when the Food and Drug Administration discovered asbestos in one of the bottles.

In early 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be holding the first public meetings exploring the development of standardized testing methods for the occurrence of asbestos in talcum-based products, including baby powders and other cosmetics. The meeting is based on recommendations from several federal agencies, ongoing FDA research, and questions on the potential contamination of talc with asbestos stretching dating back to the early 1970s.

How we can help

At the law offices of Meyers & Flowers in Chicago, we have the expertise and experience to pursue litigation against large medical firms such as Johnson & Johnson. Our long record of excellence includes million-dollar awards on behalf of clients harmed by medical products and devices.

If you have used talcum powder and developed ovarian cancer and are seeking legal recourse, we can help. Your first step is a free consultation with our law professionals to discover if you have a case. It costs nothing to find out your options, and you pay no fees until we win your case.

Please call us today to find out how our talcum powder lawyers can help you.

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