Talc is a soft mineral that has the amazing ability to absorb moisture and work as a softener or anticaking agent. It is also a close cousin of asbestos and has been linked to a similar risk of cancer dating back to studies performed in the 1980s. Despite numerous warnings from reputable healthcare and research organizations, Johnson & Johnson chose to market products containing talcum powder to women for a variety of hygienic and cosmetic applications. The Chicago talcum powder liability attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are currently taking cases on behalf of women who have developed ovarian cancer after using these products for many years.
Talc Uses and Products
Talc is a mined soft mineral that can be ground into baby powder, but it has applications in numerous industries, including ceramics, the manufacture of plastics, use in the food industry, paper filler and more. It is also used as a solid lubricant to reduce friction when added to lubricating oils. Its use in the cosmetic and hygienic industries stems from its ability to absorb great amounts of moisture, to keep compounds soft and as an anticaking agent.
Many everyday products contain some form of talc, even some of the foods that we eat. There have been documented links between its use and the development of cancer for decades now, however, and while some companies have turned to alternatives such as cornstarch and silk powders, others have chosen to conceal the risks from their consumers. Following are some of the products that may use talc-based ingredients.
- Eyeliners and mascara— because talc is a great anticaking agent, it can be used to prevent clumping and maintain a smooth look. It is unclear whether talc poses a risk when used over the eyes.
- Deodorants— odor is primarily the result of bacteria feeding on our sweat, which is why moisture control is an important aspect of deodorant products. Some deodorants use talc in order to keep the underarms dry and the talc can also aid in comfort.
- Baby powder— for many decades, talcum powder has been marketed to mothers in order to keep their newborn children dry and to prevent or treat diaper rash. Baby powder can be similarly used for adults to keep their skin dry and smooth. Doctors have advised mothers against the use of talcum powders because the particles are easily inhaled by children and can cause respiratory problems.
- Hygienic products— Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower product line is specifically marketed for feminine hygiene to control both moisture and odor in the genital area. Marketing slogans make light of this by saying that “you sweat in more places than just your underarms” and actively suggest that the products be used in the genital area.
Johnson & Johnson Failed to Warn Consumers of Dangers
From 1982 on, studies have surfaced linking talcum powder use on the genital area to the development of ovarian cancer. Numerous reputable doctors and organizations have written letters to Johnson & Johnson over 30 years asking the company to remove the products from stores because they posed a public health hazard and internal documents recovered in lawsuits show that medical consultants employed by Johnson & Johnson even agreed with the concerns being leveraged against the company. Despite all of these developments, J&J continued to market its products without any consumer warnings.
Thousands of women have since come forward with claims that their ovarian cancer diagnoses have been linked to the long term use of Johnson & Johnson products. There are currently dozens of women filing lawsuits against J&J and the first bellwether cases have resulted in verdicts favoring the plaintiffs. As this class action lawsuit begins to grow, more women will have the opportunity to recover the compensation that they deserve and to find justice from a company that so callously disregarded their safety in order to make money.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is a leading personal injury law firm in Chicago that is currently taking on cases involving women who developed ovarian cancer due to the use of these products. Our legal team has extensive experience working with similar cases and is always up to date with the latest developments on this mass tort and how your own claim may be impacted. We would be happy to meet with you in order to discuss your rights, legal options and more.
Contact us today to arrange your free consultation with one of our award winning Chicago talcum powder liability attorneys so that we can get to work on your behalf. We have the experience and legal expertise needed to ensure you have the greatest chance of recovering the maximum amount of compensation available and guarantee our services to every client. If we are unable to recover compensation on your behalf, you will not owe us anything for our time or services.
For additional information on the medical and legal implications of talcum powder, refer to our Talcum Powder FAQ's.
For discussion of the link between use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer, look here.
If you are seeking information on talcum powder litigation updates, look here.