Johnson & Johnson baby powder is a product that millions of American women use in their everyday lives for its moisture absorption. However, asbestos-containing perineal talcum powder use in medical studies has been associated with elevated ovarian cancer risk.
If you have reason to believe that your ovarian cancer is linked to exposure to asbestos from Johnson & Johnson talcum powder use, contact the law firm of Nessler & Associates for a free case review to determine if you can pursue financial compensation.
What is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder is made from a mineral called talc. Talc is a clay mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate. In its natural state, talc is soft and dusty.
Talcum powder is created by grinding talc into a fine powder. This powder absorbs moisture and helps reduce friction, making it ideal for use in cosmetics and baby powders.
Talcum powder has been used for centuries for its absorbent properties. It was first introduced as a consumer product in 1894 by Johnson & Johnson. Today, talcum powder is used in various cosmetics and personal care products, including baby powder, body powder like Shower to Shower, and face powder. It is also commonly used as a dusting agent for condoms.
Talcum powder has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer when used in the genital area. As a result, many companies have stopped using talcum powder in their products.
Asbestos Contamination in Baby Powder
Recently, asbestos contamination in talcum powder has been a growing concern. Talc is a mineral often found near asbestos deposits and can be contaminated during mining. Once contaminated, talc can retain asbestos fibers, which users of talcum powder can then inhale.
Asbestos exposure has been linked to several severe health conditions, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. The risk is exceptionally high for infants and young children, who are more likely to inhale larger amounts of the powder. For this reason, it is vital to be aware of the potential for asbestos contamination in talcum powder products.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Growing evidence that using talcum powder in the genital area may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. The theory is that when applied to the genital area, talc particles can travel through the vagina and fallopian tubes to the ovaries. Once there, it can cause inflammation and lead to the formation of cancerous tumors.
About Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that affects the ovaries. The ovaries are a pair of small, almond-shaped organs on either side of the uterus. They produce the eggs released during ovulation and the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer usually develops in the epithelial cells that line the ovaries. These cells can become abnormal and grow uncontrollably, eventually forming a tumor.
There are several types of ovarian cancer, depending on which cell type is involved. The most common type is epithelial ovarian cancer. Other less common types include stromal ovarian cancer, germ cell ovarian cancer, and sex cord-stromal ovarian cancer.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer can be challenging to detect in its early stages, as they are often nonspecific and may mimic other conditions. However, as the disease progresses, symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Back pain
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Changes in bowel habits
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Irregular periods
Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis of Ovarian Cancer
Of all the different types of cancer that can affect women, ovarian cancer is one of the most dangerous due to how difficult it is to diagnose and treat. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often subtle, and by the time the tumor is discovered, it has usually already spread to other parts of the body. This makes treatment difficult, and the prognosis for ovarian cancer patients is often poor.
However, some promising new treatments are emerging that may improve the chances of survival for women with this disease. In addition, early diagnosis is improving as more doctors become familiar with the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Conventional treatment options oncologists can offer after an ovarian cancer diagnosis include:
- Radiation treatments
- Hormone therapy
What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk
Avoid using talc products such as baby powder that contain talcum particles near your genital area. Avoid using talc or baby powder products if you have any reason to believe you are at high risk for ovarian cancer. Instead, consumers should prefer feminine hygiene items with the “talc-free” designation.
If you are looking for products to help you deal with moisture or prevent rashes in the genital area, consult your doctor for suggestions and alternatives to baby powder and other talc-based items.
Additional Products That Contain Talc
Baby powder is not the only talc product on the market. Several other items on the market use talc powder, which consumers should be aware of when purchasing and using a potentially harmful product.
Talc is still present in consumer products such as:
- Cosmetics (lipstick, blush, mascara, and others)
- Roofing materials
Johnson & Johnson Talc Litigation
Johnson & Johnson is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The company is also one of the largest makers of talcum powder cosmetic products. As a result, thousands of women have filed claims against the company due to talcum powder ovarian cancer.
This has prompted the manufacturer to employ bankruptcy proceedings to avoid paying billions of dollars to victims in thousands of lawsuits. However, this bankruptcy process has been met with opposition by politicians and judges.
Despite its widespread use, there has been serious concern about the safety of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder. In 2018, the company was ordered to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who claimed that the company’s talcum powder products had caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
More recently, the consumer goods and pharmaceuticals giant was called upon to pay $2.1 billion over allegations of asbestos in its talcum products. Johnson & Johnson appealed the decision but was rejected on its appeal at the United States Supreme Court in June of 2021.
The fact that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its baby powder products were contaminated with asbestos highlights the irresponsible and negligent actions of the company. Johnson & Johnson’s internal company documents show that organization has known about trace amounts of asbestos in its talcum powder as early as the 1970s,
However, despite the significant talcum powder litigation Johnson & Johnson has faced, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet banned the use of talcum powder. Instead, the FDA warned that some talcum powder products might contain asbestos, a known carcinogen.
As a result, consumers should be cautious when using talcum powder products and should only purchase items that have been verified as asbestos-free.
Statute of Limitations on Baby Powder Lawsuits
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit based on injuries caused by talcum powder is two years from the date they knew or should have known of the personal injury or death.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. In some cases, Illinois allows claimants to file up to 8 years after suffering a personal injury or death. Additionally, if the claimant is under 18 or has a legal disability, the statute of limitations does not start until their 18th birthday or their legal disability is removed, extending the time they may have to file.
Additionally, if the responsible party intentionally concealed information about the risks of talcum powder, the injury victim has five years from the date of discovery to file a lawsuit. As a result, it is vital for anyone injured by talcum powder to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation as soon as possible.
How an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney Can Help with Your Talcum Powder Case
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have used talcum powder for feminine hygiene, you may be entitled to compensation. Many women have already filed lawsuits against baby powder product manufacturers. A talcum powder attorney can help you understand your legal options and represent you in court if necessary.
The first step is to investigate whether the talcum powder you used contained asbestos, which is known to cause cancer. If it did, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Even if the powder did not contain asbestos, you may still be able to argue that the manufacturer failed to warn consumers about the potential risks of using the product. A personal injury attorney can help you build a strong case and get the compensation you deserve.
Compensation You Can Recover in a Talcum Powder Lawsuit
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and believe it may be related to your use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, you may be entitled to compensation.
Possible types of compensation include economic damages such as medical expenses and loss of wages. Non-economic damages you can seek in a baby powder cancer lawsuit include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
You may also be able to pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages refer to compensation above and beyond economic and non-economic damages. They are awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was willfully negligent or malicious and are meant to punish the responsible party.
Pursuing Monetary Compensation with an Illinois Legal Team
Talcum powder claims worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been brought against Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products. Class action, mass tort, and individual lawsuits for product liability have been made by injured women and the families of women who have passed away from cancer caused by sanitary towels, condoms, or inhaling talc after use.
The experienced talcum powder lawyers at Nessler & Associates can help you navigate the legal process and pursue maximum compensation for the exposure to asbestos particles that caused your illness. When companies knowingly sell products that make consumers ill, we will fight for the rights of those who’ve been harmed and their families.
Our personal injury lawyers will gather your medical records and present sufficient evidence that proves your injuries were caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder. We will seek maximum compensation on your behalf and won’t let these companies and insurers bully you into accepting a lowball settlement.
Call our talcum powder lawyers at (800) 727-8010 for a free initial consultation regarding your baby powder cancer claim.