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Talcum powder products.jpg.crdownload

The asbestos-talcum powder story has become quite old by now, but apparently it’s a story that is far from over.  Just two months ago, the widower of a St. Clair County, Illinois woman filed suit, claiming his wife had been exposed to asbestos contained in talcum-based body powder products, causing her 2016 death from mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

“The plaintiff holds Colgate-Palmolive Co., Johnson & Johnson, and others responsible because the defendants allegedly negligently included asbestos-containing talc in their products when they knew that it was toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious to human’s health and failed to provide adequate health warnings in using it,” reported the Madison-St. Clair Record.

That story was published just two months ago…. Now let’s go back twenty-six years, when an article in the New York Times discussed a study published in the journal Cancer showing that that women who dusted their genitals and sanitary napkins with talcum powder were three times as likely to develop cancer as women who did not.  

Even early research had suggested that talc particles entered a woman’s reproductive system through the vaginal opening, migrating into the cervix and the uterus, eventually moving to her ovaries. Scientists found talc particles embedded in a significant number of the ovarian tumors that were tested. Talcum powder products such as Johnson’s baby powder, Shower to Shower, and Cashmere Bouquet can contain talc, a soft mineral often mined in areas where asbestos may have contaminated the area. Even when asbestos is not present, talc itself can have negative long-term effects on the human body.

“More than 5,000 lawsuits have been filed against J&J alleging that baby powder, which contains talc, is linked to ovarian cancer. The lawsuits typically allege that J&J had a duty to warn consumers about the connection between cancer and baby powder. J&J has maintained that its product is safe and any warning would be misleading,” reports ArsTechnica.

Not all plaintiffs claiming severe health damage caused by talcum powder are female. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury recently awarded Philip Depoian $18 million against talc supplier Whittaker, Clark & Daniels. Depoian claimed the company’s asbestos-tainted talcum powder products used at the barbershop where his father worked had caused his death from mesothelioma.

Talcum powder products that have been named in product liability lawsuits include:

  • Bauer & Black Baby Talc
  • Cashmere Bouquet Body Talc
  • Coty Airspun Face Powder
  • Desert Flower Dusting Powder
  • English Leather After Shave Talc
  • Faberge Brut Talc
  • Friendship Garden Talcum Powder
  • Kings Men After Shave Talc
  • Old Spice After Shave Talc
  • Pinaud Clubman Talc Powder
  • Rosemary Talc
  • ZBT Baby Powder

“The medical debate over whether talcum powder causes ovarian cancer goes back many decades, and the attorneys in these cases are demonstrating, through internal documents they’ve subpoenaed, that Johnson & Johnson knew about this research,” CNN reported back in 2016.

At the Ramey & Hailey law firm, where we have been involved in product liability cases for three decades, we believe it’s important for people who have developed mesothelioma and ovarian cancer and their families to know the facts about the talcum powder/asbestos story, because apparently, it’s far from over. Do you need to join the baby power and talcum powder battle?

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