Many women make it a part of their regular hygiene routine to sprinkle talcum powder on their bodies and undergarments, especially after a shower. It’s something that has been a regular practice, especially for women in the Black community. But recent evidence and lawsuits now show that this practice could be endangering their health. There have been at least 20 medical studies that indicate a significant link between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer. But did companies making the powder such as Johnson & Johnson know about this danger? Apparently a jury has decided yes in a lawsuit with Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California.
The jury awarded Giannecchini $70 million after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She accused the company of “negligent conduct” in making and marketing the baby powder that she used daily in an intimate area. After the verdict, Carol Goodrich, spokesperson for the company stated to the media “We deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer. We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
Johnson & Johnson is an iconic name brand for personal hygiene and baby products. This recent verdict follows similar lawsuits against the company that resulted in massive costs.
–In St. Louis two juries awarded $127 million in damages against the company.
–An Alabama jury awarded $72 million in February to relatives of a woman who died of ovarian cancer.
–In May 2016, a South Dakota woman received a $55-million award after surviving ovarian cancer.
The awards are astounding and very frightening to women who use products containing talc. Studies have indicated that women who regularly use talc on their genital area face up to a 40 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Talc is a mineral that is mined from deposits around the world, including the U.S,, and crushed into a white powder. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies genital use of talc as “possibly carcinogenic.” It is estimated that there are currently about 2,000 pending lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson over its use of talc.