Attorneys pursuing litigation on behalf of ovarian cancer victims say that today’s announcement of a recall by Johnson & Johnson of more than 30,000 bottles of its Baby Powder sold in 2018 confirms the evidence presented at trials during the past four years. The product was recalled after U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing revealed the presence of chrysotile fibers, a type of asbestos.
“This recall is a stunning admission by Johnson & Johnson after years of denial about the cancer risks from Baby Powder. The FDA’s tests confirm the presence of cancer-causing asbestos, and J&J’s internal documents show the company has known about this danger for many years,” said Ted Meadows of the Beasley Allen Law Firm. “Had J&J acted responsibly and removed Baby Powder from the market in the 1970s, the lives of thousands of women would have been saved.”
For decades, dozens of studies have examined the link between genital talc use and ovarian cancer, consistently finding a 30% increase in ovarian cancer among women who used talcum powder for feminine hygiene. The research indicates that talc particles can migrate into the ovaries, causing inflammation and leading to the growth of malignant cells.
“The science is very clear that no amount of asbestos exposure is safe,” said Leigh O’Dell of Beasley Allen, the co-lead counsel of the plaintiffs’ committee in more than 10,000 cases currently consolidated in multidistrict litigation in New Jersey. “Asbestos and talc are natural minerals that co-exist and can’t always be separated in the manufacturing process for Baby Powder. This announcement, and the ongoing investigation by the FDA, should signal a turning point in this tragedy.”
Coincidentally, an article published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine identified household talcum powder contaminated with asbestos as the root cause of malignant mesothelioma in 33 long-term users. The study, co-authored by Dr. Jacqueline Moline of the Institute of Health Innovations and Outcomes Research at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, states that the research subjects had no other known exposure to asbestos, and tissue analysis revealed the presence of asbestos.
J&J faces thousands of lawsuits related to products containing talc, and attorneys with Beasley Allen expect to try at least three other individual claims involving ovarian cancer during the next six months in courts in Missouri, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
This afternoon, in light of its findings and the subsequent recall, the FDA advised consumers to stop using the affected products. Specifically, the agency is warning about Johnson’s Baby Powder Lot#22318RB. The testing was done as part of the FDA’s ongoing survey of cosmetics products for asbestos.
Philadelphia Inquirer / Bloomberg News – Johnson and Johnson recalls baby powder after asbestos found in sample