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Mass torts claim that baby powder caused ovarian cancer

Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder has been around since the 1890s. Many people here in Tennessee and elsewhere use it on their babies’ bottoms to keep them dry, and many women use it on themselves for the same reason. This widely used product has recently become the subject of numerous mass torts that claim this product, which is commonly used in numerous households, can cause ovarian cancer.

Some scientists are not ready to say that the talcum powder version of the company’s baby powder and Shower-to-Shower products is directly linked to ovarian cancer. Others, however, believe there is a clear link between the two. In fact, one doctor says that a woman’s risk of contracting ovarian cancer increases approximately 33 percent with regular use of talcum powder.

A jury in California recently agreed with that assessment when it awarded a woman suffering from ovarian cancer $417 million. She says that her terminal illness resulted from decades of using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, and she was not the first one to take her claims to the courts. Even those who are not willing to say that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer agree that there is an increased risk of cancer with prolonged use.

Johnson & Johnson said it will appeal the latest verdict, along with others in other states. However, with a renewed interest in whether talcum powder causes cancer, more cases could be added to the numerous ones already in progress. Mass torts could only increase as more women here in Tennessee and across the country join others in attempting to hold the company fully accountable for their illnesses.

Source: npr.org, “Does Baby Powder Cause Cancer? A Jury Says Yes. Scientists Aren’t So Sure“, Alison Kodjak, Aug. 22, 2017