Many recent news stories have been been circulating about the potential correlation between the use of talcum powder and an increased cancer risk. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has even issued a statement warning those concerned about potential risks to discontinue using the product until further research is conducted.
Last time, we began looking at Johnson & Johnson’s recent loss in a talcum powder lawsuit in California. As we noted, this is the latest in a series of losses for the company in lawsuits involving allegations that that the company failed to warn consumers of the potential dangers of its talc-containing products.
One of the legal issues we track on this blog is talcum powder litigation. We’ve previously discussed the challenges plaintiffs face in presenting strong evidence of causation in these cases. As we’ve noted, though, strong circumstantial evidence of the connection between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer, and a sympathetic jury, can make all the difference for plaintiffs.
Previously, we looked at a recent report that a cosmetic product sold by a tween fashion retail chain was contaminated with asbestos. Although the company denied the accusation of contamination after conducting its own investigation, this doesn’t necessarily mean that asbestos contamination of the tested line of products is not at all a concern.
Exposure to asbestos can cause a variety of health problems for those who are exposed to it. This includes not only mesothelioma and lung and throat cancer, but also lesser conditions like asbestosis, pleural thickening and pleural plaque, interstitial fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension.
Previously, we began looking at a recent Supreme Court case which puts prior talc-injury verdicts against Johnson & Johnson at risk of being reversed and which could present serious barriers for plaintiffs in these cases going forward. According to some attorneys, the decision will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for plaintiffs to exercise choice about the forum in which they sue companies responsible for exposing consumers to talc.
We have previously written on this blog on the potential link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. As we’ve mentioned, proving causation in these cases is not necessarily an easy matter, as the science isn’t yet settled and there is room for doubt. Working with an experienced attorney is important to gather the strongest possible evidence and to build the best possible case.
Last time, we briefly mentioned a recently published study which found a link between talcum powder use and the development of ovarian cancer. As we noted, the study authors concluded that more research needs to be done to determine whether there is a causal relationship there.
Readers may be aware that the issue of whether products containing talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer is currently being litigated in the courts. The main ingredient in talcum powder is refined talc, a white clay mineral composed of magnesium, silicon, hydrogen and oxygen. Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is one of the most widely used products containing talcum powder.
Johnson & Johnson is one of the companies that has been hit particularly hard by cosmetic talcum powder litigation. The company currently faces thousands of lawsuits over talc-based products, cases which have been combined in a federal court in St. Louis. Last week, the company was unsuccessful in having most of those cases transferred to various courts nationwide where plaintiffs are located.