Smart parents stopped using baby powder while changing their babies years ago after medical evidence suggested that talcum-based powders are linked to the occurrence of cancer. However, Johnson & Johnson -- the world's largest manufacturer of talcum-based powders -- has fiercely defended the safety of its products in the face of criticisms and fears relating to its carcinogenic nature.
The fact that talcum-containing baby powders are carcinogenic, however, is the only logical conclusion when one considers the following two facts: (1) The mineral talcum is found in nature next to and mixed with deposits of asbestos; and (2) there are no safe levels of asbestos exposure.
A recent lawsuit brings baby powder under closer scrutiny
In a recent lawsuit, 22 female baby powder users sued Johnson & Johnson after they contracted ovarian cancer. During a jury trial in Missouri, the women proved that their ovaries -- where they developed cancer -- contained asbestos fibers. The women also produced evidence that they were long-time users of baby powder, which was an important part of their feminine hygiene practices.
Lawyers representing the women produced medical evidence, scientific research and expert testimony showing how asbestos-laced baby powder was to blame for the women's cancer. Evidence showed that the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder, which the women used to dust their personal areas, had entered through their uteri and Fallopian tubes to contaminate their ovaries, resulting in cancer. Jurors awarded the women a total of $4.7 billion as a result of their decision.
Doctors knew baby powder was dangerous but for different reasons
Although the connection that exists between talcum-based baby powder, asbestos and cancer may come as a surprise -- to many American consumers who view baby powder as innocuous, ubiquitous and safe -- the fact that baby powder is dangerous would not come as a surprise to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), but for different reasons.
The AAP declared talcum powders to be "a hazard" as far back as 1981. Doctors believed it was dangerous for babies to aspirate the powder. Breathing in baby powder was shown to be fatal in some severe cases. Although the doctors, at the time, were not aware of the connection with asbestos, they believed, decades ago, that breathing in the powder could cause a pneumonic reaction.
Did you contract ovarian cancer after repeated use of talcum powder?
Anyone who has contracted ovarian cancer after years of using talcum powder may want to question whether Johnson & Johnson is financially responsible for their injuries and damages. If factual circumstances support their claims, these individuals may have the ability to pursue justice and restitution in New Jersey civil court.