[12/21/16] Branded as the baby-friendly household product, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Baby Powder made of talcum powder has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
The cosmetics industry uses over 13,000 chemicals in its products. Despite using so many chemicals in their products, only color additives require pre-market approval by the FDA. Most other chemicals are not evaluated for safety and are not FDA-approved.
Talcum powder is one of the many products that portray a baby-friendly image. Unfortunately, talc powder products may carry some unexpected risks. As early as 1971, researchers have found talc particles logged in ovarian tumors. Many additional studies with varied measures of risk suggest that “women may increase their risk for ovarian cancer anywhere from 30 to 90 percent by applying talcum power to their genital area.” (source)
The Legal Battle Against Johnson & Johnson
Some believe that Johnson & Johnson had known about the dangers of talcum power since the 1970’s, but that it covered up the cancer/talcum powder link for reasons of profit, a scandal so big, it is compared to the tobacco companies and their knowledge about the dangers of smoking cigarettes.
A jury in St. Louis awarded $55 million to plaintiff Gloria Ristesund of Sioux Falls, SD, based on the accusation that J&J distorted research about the talcum-cancer connection and hid its knowledge about the products’ risks. Ristesund used J&J’s talc-based feminine hygiene products for almost 40 years. In 2011, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She underwent a hysterectomy, which revealed that talc was present in her ovarian tissue.