Across the country, there are currently over 2,500 lawsuits that aim to prove lifelong use of talcum powder, such as those manufactured by Johnson & Johnson (J&J), are linked to the development of genitourinary cancers, particularly ovarian cancer. In the vast majority of these cases, J&J is the defendant, although Colgate-Palmolive have also faced a number of cases.
J&J and all other defendants have stated that their talcum products have not contained asbestos since the 1980s. However, plaintiffs claim that this is untrue, and that contamination continued long after that. Indeed, many factory workers who used talc (industrial grade) developed asbestos diseases and have been compensated for this.
It is now also known that until the middle of the 1970s, many health and beauty products in this country used asbestos-tainted talc. Nevertheless, J&J and other similar companies, have said that they have consistently used asbestos-free talc in commercial marketplace. Plaintiffs believe to the contrary and if they are proven to be right, it would suggest that the J&J products, particularly their feminine hygiene products, can cause not just ovarian cancer, but also asbestos-related illnesses.
And even if contaminated talc was removed by 1980, the products have very long shelf lives, which means people could have continued to use them for at least another decade. And, indeed, there have been some recent studies that showed during autopsy that people who breathed in talcum powder on a daily basis, had traces of asbestos in their lungs. Asbestos is the only known product that can cause mesothelioma, and it is also linked to various other cancers. If the link is proven, then J&J could be facing lawsuits for various cancers found in the female reproductive and urinary tract, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and mesothelioma.
Meanwhile, J&J continues to deny any awareness or existence of a link between their talcum products and any form of cancer. More information about these lawsuits can be seen at www.talccancercenter.com.