Can talcum powder cause you cancer? Well, surprisingly a jury in the United States has awarded a California woman $147 million after she developed ovarian cancer. The women in her complaint claimed that she had been using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for decades. The company was asked by the legal authorities to pay the women $347 million and $70 million as part of punitive and compensatory damages.
It all comes to light when a 63-year-old Los Angeles resident Eva Echeverria read an article about how a woman developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson baby powder. Eva herself had been using the product for over five decades. The talcum powder had been a regular part of her feminine hygiene since she was 11 years old. However, the woman stopped using the product after she read a news story in 2016 that held Johnson & Johnson baby powder as the cause of ovarian cancer.
Eva’s case is not the first, similar cases have been reported all over California. There are thousands of similar cases going on through the country from California to New Jersey. Majority of the complainants testified that there is no label on the product to warn them of the impending health hazards caused by the product if used for a long run. Talking about the company, there is no legal obligation to label any health hazard related to issues on its products. Talcum powder is a cosmetic and not a medication product so it does not fall under the review by the US Food and Drug Administration like a normal drug. This where the problem lies as many of the unwanted ingredients goes unidentified.
According to general consensus, there should be proper labeling on the product about the ingredients and other information. There has to be a certain level of safety regarding its use. Only a handful of talcum-based powder products carry labels that inform users about possible health hazards including ovarian cancer on frequent use around the female genital area. Medical studies, however, have a mix response on this. The US National Toxicology Program does not fully recognize talc as a possible carcinogen that can cause cancer.
The company Johnson & Johnson has stated that it has already begun appealing against the Californian court’s order. A senior representative of the company said that the company sympathizes with the woman and will get back to drawing board to look into the matter. The company will review the products once again and have new series of trails and tests if needed.
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