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Johnson & Johnson is still facing quite a bit of legal heat over its alleged connection to ovarian cancer. Many lawsuits a mounting pile of evidence suggests a link between ovarian cancer and the use of baby powder—or to be more exact, talcum powder. This was brought to the attention of Congress via the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, targeting the potential health hazard of talc, the primary ingredient present in J&J’s baby powder.
Since 1970, in fact, issues with asbestos contamination brought on multiple lawsuits as a result with women suffering from the later stages of ovarian cancer linked to the use of baby powder on or near genitals. This was further buttressed by the discovery of asbestos used in makeup sold at retail outlets such as Claire’s and Justice. Given the volatility of asbestos, there was definite cause for concern. To investigate further, an internal medicine physician and epidemiologist from the Red Hutchinson Cancer Research Center testified as an expert witness in many of those talc cases reported in the positive as the very real link between baby powder and cancer. Hence there was some cause for scrutiny and potential regulation, particularly in the cosmetics industry, but there’s still a process moving forward as to what kinds of regulation should be implemented in the manufacturing and sale of baby powder. Part of the issue is the length of time, though. It was never fully addressed given the gap in between many of these cases and the inability to really prove that there was indeed a link between the two: stages of cancer would seem to advance at an extremely late time with little to no reference or evidence as to how much talc powder or baby powder used, but after further evidence of many of those cases concurrently, the ultimate decision was obvious:
They may, in fact, pull Johnson & Johnson baby powder from shelves completely. Who knows. The conservative approach, of course, is to mandate that warning labels be placed to ensure consumers are aware of the potential dangers. Certainly, frequency of use as well as volume of use does play a role as well as the overall physical chemistry. The development of ovarian cancer seems to mainly occur in women who have used the product multiple times. It is extremely concerning that these allegedly dangerous products are still available in stores, and that there is no warning about the risk of cancer. If cigarettes have cancer warnings, then these products should, too. Until Congress acts, it is up to us to warn women about the risks. Please help spread the word. Written on behalf of Nancy Winkler by AskTheLawyers.com™
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