Must Read: $417M Has Been Awarded in Lawsuit Linking Baby Powder To Ovarian Cancer.

Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes. It is widely used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and adult body and facial powder as in the number of other consumer products.




Despite these benefits mentioned above talc was implicated as a possible ovarian carcinogen because of its chemical similarity to asbestos which has been linked to ovarian cancer.  However, in the past, there were some contradictory report based on Journal of the National Cancer Institute, either linking or not linking  the use of talcum powder on the women’s external genitalia with ovarian cancer


In the US, some lawsuits have resulted in the revelation of company memos that showed that the makers of talcum powder had this information on which they did not act and which they withheld from the public.


Recently in California, The Los Angeles jury’s favor of resident Eva Echeverria, a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using the company's talc based products like Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene. The jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay her $417 million.The verdict included $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million punitive damages



It was the largest yet in lawsuits alleging J&J failed to adequately warn consumers about the risks of its talc-based products.


Echeverria's lawyer Mark Robinson stated "We are grateful for the jury's verdict on this matter and that Eva Echeverria was able to have her day in court,"


“Johnson & Johnson had many warning bells over a 30 year period but failed to warn the women who were buying its product,” he said.


It was a major problem for J&J which encountered 4,800 similar claims and has been hit for more than $300 million in verdicts by juries in Missouri.


J&J's lawyers countered that studies and federal agencies have not found that talc products are carcinogenic.


J &J  stated "We will appeal today's verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder,"


There are hundreds of California talc cases to go to trial and Echeverria's lawsuit was the first out of these hundred cases.


The 63-year old Eva Echevarria professed that she developed terminal ovarian cancer for using Johnson & Johnson product for 20 and 30 years.


“Mrs. Echeverria is dying from this ovarian cancer and she said to me all she wanted to do was to help the other women throughout the whole country who have ovarian cancer for using Johnson & Johnson for 20 and 30 years,” Mark Robinson Stated.


“She really didn’t want sympathy, She just wanted to get a message out to help these other women.” He added.

Meanwhile, Carol Goodrich, the spokeswoman of Johnson & Johnson declared in a statement that they will make an appeal for the jury’s decision by presenting scientific evidence to validate the safety of using Johnson’s baby powder. “Ovarian cancer is a devastating diagnosis and we deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by this disease. We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,” Goodrich revealed.


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Source:  Washington Post