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Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Class Action Lawsuit


CONSUMER LAW GROUP is investigating a Canada-wide class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson relating to its talcum powder-containing product Baby Powder and its alleged contribution to the development of ovarian cancer in women after prolonged use in the perineal (genital) area.

Talc, an inorganic mineral, is a magnesium trisilicate that is mined from the earth. It is the main substance in talcum powder that is found in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder. It has been alleged that Johnson & Johnson has been aware for decades of the research that has linked ovarian cancer to their talc products. Recently, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million in damages to an injured woman who developed ovarian cancer and subsequently died.

It is further alleged that, despite this longstanding knowledge of the dangerous side effects of its talcum powder-containing Baby Powder product, Johnson & Johnson induced women through advertisements to dust themselves to mask odours as a routine for feminine hygiene.

Here is a chronological list of certain scientific studies:

• In 1971, a study was conducted Dr. WJ Henderson and others in Cardiff, Wales which found an association between talc and ovarian cancer;

• In 1982, an epidemiological study was performed by Dr. Daniel Cramer and others which found a 92% increased risk on talc powder use in the female genital area;

• In 1990, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked manufacturers to voluntarily stop putting talc on surgical gloves because mounting scientific evidence showed that it caused adhesions in surgical patients;

• In 1993, the U.S. National Toxicology Program published a study on the toxicity of non-asbestos form talc and found clear evidence of carcinogenic activity. Talc was found to be a carcinogen, with or without the presence of asbestos-like fibers;

• In 1994, the Cancer Prevention Coalition sent a letter to the CEO of Johnson & Johnson urging him to substitute cornstarch for talcum powder products and to label its products with a warning on cancer risks;

• In 1996, the FDA requested that the condom industry stop dusting with talc due to the health concerns that studies linked talc to ovarian cancer;

• In 2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, published a paper that classified perineal use of talc-based body powder as a “Group 2B” human carcinogen. This international authority on cancer research, concluded that studies from around the world consistently found an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women who used talc in perineal areas. IARC determined that between 16-52% of women worldwide used talc to dust their perineum and found an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women talc users ranging from 30-60%;

• In 2006, the Canadian government, under the Hazardous Products Act and associated Controlled Products Regulations, classified talc as a “D2A”, “very toxic”, “cancer-causing” substance under its Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). Asbestos is also classified as “D2A”;

• In 2008, the Cancer Prevention Coalition submitted a petition seeking a cancer warning on cosmetic talc products to the FDA. The petition requested that the FDA immediately require cosmetic talcum powder products to bear labels with a prominent warning that frequent talc application in the female genital area is responsible for major risks of ovarian cancer;

• In 2013, Cancer Prevention Research published a study that showed that women who use talcum powder in their groin area had a 20-30% greater risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who did not use talc products in that area;

• Presently, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society list genital talc use as a “risk factor” for ovarian cancer;

• Currently, the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry, Roswell Park Center Institute, and the Department of Gynecologic Oncology University of Vermont publish a pamphlet entitled “Myths & Facts about ovarian cancer: What you need to know”. In this pamphlet, under “know” risk factors for ovarian cancer, it lists: “Use of Talc (Baby Powder) in the Genital Area”.

If you or a member of your family have used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and were subsequently injured, and you wish more information on potential compensation or to be kept advised of the status of the Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Class Action litigation or any resulting compensation from the Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit in Canada, Quebec or Ontario, please provide your contact information to our law firm using the below form.

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Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Class Action Lawsuit
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