Johnson & Johnson marketed its products containing talc for decades without including a warning regarding the potential risk of ovarian cancer. Consumers purchased and used products such as baby powder and Shower to Shower on their children and themselves with the belief they were safe. Now we know there have been studies suggesting a potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer since the 1970s. Asbestos has also been found in some talc-based products. Boston product liability attorney Michael O. Smith has years of experience representing clients injured by defective products. Mr. Smith and the team of attorneys at Mass Injury Group provide experienced legal advice, guidance, and representation to clients throughout the Boston area.
Talc has been used in many common cosmetic and personal care products, including baby powder, for many years. Johnson & Johnson first introduced its Baby Powder in 1894. The company marketed Baby Powder for use by women as well as children. It was common for people to apply baby powder, Shower to Shower, or similar talc-based products to the genital area. In 1971, British researching published a study suggesting a possible link between the use of talcum powder in genital area and ovarian cancer. Some subsequent studies have also supported a link between the two.
Additionally, since at least the 1970s, there have been concerns about talc being contaminated with asbestos. Like talc, asbestos is a silicate mineral and the two are often found in close proximity to each other. Asbestos is a known carcinogen when inhaled with no known safe level of exposure . Inhalation of asbestos is associated with mesothelioma and other lung cancer and damage. The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) initiated a project to have samples of certain cosmetic products containing talc tested for asbestos. This testing has resulted in a number of voluntary recalls, including the recall of a single lot of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder. Because talcum is a fine powder that can be inhaled when applied, the potential presence of asbestos also raises concerns about the risk of mesothelioma, especially with long term use.
A large number of lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson alleging the company failed to warn of the potential ovarian cancer risk. Lawsuits have alleged Johnson & Johnson knew about the link to ovarian cancer as early as 1982. Additionally, according to a report by Lisa Girion for Reuters, there was evidence that Johnson & Johnson’s raw talc and finished powders had tested positive for small amounts of asbestos at times ranging from the early 1970s to the early 2000s.
In 2020, Johnson & Johnson reported it would discontinue using talc in its baby powder in the U.S. and Canada. Despite a number of lawsuits holding Johnson & Johnson liable for damages related to ovarian cancer, the manufacturer continues to deny the existence of a link between its products and ovarian cancer.
Manufacturers of defective products should be held accountable to the consumers who have been injured by their product. The potential damages available to each victim will depend on the specific facts of their case. Potential damages in a Massachusetts product liability case may include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. If your close family member died of ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using Baby Powder, you may also have a wrongful death claim.
Skilled Boston talcum powder attorney Michael O. Smith and the attorneys at Mass Injury Group can help you if you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum powder. We will evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options. We serve clients in Boston and the surrounding areas. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at 617-263-0060 or contacting us online. Your case will be handled on a contingency-fee basis with no upfront fee