Talcum powder is made from talc, which is a mineral that contains oxygen, silicon, and magnesium. As a powder, talc absorbs moisture and reduces friction, which is why many people have used it to eliminate excess moisture and reduce their risk for rashes. Talcum is also commonly used as a cosmetic ingredient in baby powers, facial powders, and other consumer products. Many women have, for generations used talc (for example, Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower Powder) as part of their daily hygiene routine. This has been prevalent, especially in humid environments. Unfortunately, even though it appears that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its talc contained impurities, like asbestos, they failed to make that fact known—exposing users to terrible consequences, such as ovarian cancer. The scenario that forms the basis for many of the lawsuits is where a woman used these products to powder their panties. There is a mucous tract from that point thru the vagina, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, and, ultimately ending at the ovaries. Science now points at a strong connection between these regular users of talc and a significant increase in the incidence of ovarian cancer.
Talc dust can also have other dangerous effects and can cause other serious injuries if it is inhaled or swallowed. One example is lung cancer.
In the 1970s, Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA) guidelines were implemented that required talc-based cosmetics be free of detectable amounts of asbestos. However, since 2009, tens of thousands of claims and lawsuits have been filed across the United States alleging that Johnson & Johnson’s Baby and Shower-to-Shower talcum powder products when used as part of a daily hygiene routine resulted in ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Update
Thursday, August 11, 2022, marks the day that Johnson & Johnson finally announced it will halt sales of talc-based powders worldwide. Despite J&J shareholders’ misgivings about this discontinuation, talc-based J&J baby powders will be removed globally in 2023. Several years ago, J&J quietly changed the powders from talc to cornstarch in the US, and they removed talc-based products in most of North America in 2020.
Why Is Johnson & Johnson Stopping the Production of Talcum Powder?
When they initially issued the stoppage of talc-based products in North America, they claimed the discontinuation was caused by misinformation and a significant decrease in demand. However, scientific studies of J&J have produced mixed results, and in 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) found asbestos in samples of Johnson & Johnson baby powder.
Will J&J Settle Their Talcum Powder Cases?
There are still tens of thousands of talc lawsuits pending from cancer survivors and other consumers. In response to the legal battles that J&J is facing, in 2021 they created a subsidiary company called LTL Management that they hope will absorb and resolve these current and future claims. LTL filed for bankruptcy immediately after launching. In accordance with US Bankruptcy courts, J&J funded LTL with a $2 billion trust with an additional $250 million in future contributions to handle these lawsuits.
Contact Our Firm for Legal Counsel
For over three decades, Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC has been fighting to protect our clients’ rights, including their right to fair compensation after suffering injuries due to someone else’s negligence. People not involved in litigation, such as the lawsuits against J&J, often fail to understand the broader purpose of such lawsuits. It has been our honor and our privilege to represent individual women who unknowingly used dangerous talc products, because we believe that the added pressure of our claims has, perhaps, led to corporate decisions that may stop the harm from impacting others.
If you or a loved one have suffered because of talcum powder use, our firm can help you understand your legal rights and options. With decades of proven success and hundreds of millions of dollars recovered for clients, we are equipped to help you obtain financial recovery for your physical, emotional, and financial losses.
To learn more about our services and how we can help you, contact our firm online or via telephone (502) 242-8877.