Baby powder not as safe as one might think


On Thursday, a Missouri circuit court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.69 billion to over twenty women who purchased the company’s baby powder products, which supposedly contained cancer-forming asbestos.

The court ruled that Johnson & Johnson did not effectively warn these women and their families of the possibility that their products may cause ovarian cancer. According to lawyer Mark Lanier, Johnson & Johnson has covered up the carcinogenic nature of their talcum-powder products for over 40 years. Six of the 22 prosecuting women have died from cancer after using the powder.

However, Johnson & Johnson has stated that the company “remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer and intends to pursue all available appellate remedies.”

Johnson & Johnson plans on appealing the case, as the company does not believe that there is enough evidence to directly link its product to ovarian cancer.

The National Cancer Institute has reported that talcum powder can be absorbed into the reproductive system, which causes inflammation in the ovaries.

This isn’t the first time that Johnson & Johnson has faced a case of this nature. In 2013, the company faced a similar talcum case but came out unscathed. They have faced similar, smaller cases since 2013, but this most recent lawsuit is the largest the company has faced thus far.

Johnson & Johnson’s shares fell 1.4 percent after this most recent lawsuit was announced. It will be interesting to see how the company will bounce back from this, as the use of talcum powder is not sustainable.


Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons