More than 1,000 people are suing Johnson & Johnson Co. and Imerys Talc America, claiming the producers of baby powder failed to warn them of the product’s connection to ovarian cancer, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
The lawsuits draw from 20 studies that have found long-term use of talc (the primary ingredient in Johnson’s Baby Powder) in the genital area increases the risk of ovarian cancer by about 33%, according to the article by Susan Berfield, Jef Feeley, and Margaret Cronin Fisk.
Since 1999, the American Cancer Society has recommended that women who regularly use baby powder in their genital area choose cornstarch-based baby powder (a product Johnson & Johnson already sells) instead of talc-based products.
Johnson & Johnson cautions against inhalation on the Baby Powder label, noting the powder is for external use only. The company insists that the linkage to ovarian cancer is limited and based on unreliable data, noting that everyday products like red meat and coffee have also been named as possible carcinogens.
However, in one recent lawsuit, a jury awarded $72 million in damages to the family of a woman named Jacqueline Fox who died of ovarian cancer last year. The jury determined Johnson & Johnson was liable for negligence, conspiracy, and failure to warn women of the potential risk.
The company will reportedly appeal the verdict.
Read the whole story at Bloomberg Businessweek.
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