#Talcum Powder Lawsuits
The softest hint of vanilla, a floral, a simple dust, dust, dust. Baby Powder is a marketer’s dream, all those memories packed in the simplest powder, fit for a baby. And in that dream Johnson & Johnson built their empire.
Yet what if Baby Powder wasn’t safe enough for a baby — what if Baby Powder, too, wasn’t safe enough for you? Decades of dusting the powder on your most private parts without a second thought may have increased your risk for ovarian cancer. But it gets so much worse than that. Thanks to the Talcum Powder Lawsuit we’re learning how deep this problem goes. Contact us to learn your options if you developed ovarian cancer after years of using baby powder, you may have serious legal options.
(We’re not joking)
1. The talcum powder that was used in J&J’s Baby Powder for decades may cause ovarian cancer.
2. Black and latino women may have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
But it gets worse. In fact — the talcum powder lawsuit brings up a whole host of problems we need to address.
An internal J&J memo from 1992 noted that while “negative publicity from the heath community on talc (inhalation, dust, negative doctor endorsement, cancer linkage) continues” they were “[investigating] ethnic (African-American, hispanic) opportunities to grow franchise.” Because if white people stop buying your product that might kill, the obvious choice is to start marketing to black people. Other internal memos from a special task force dedicated to improving Baby Powder sales mention reaching out to Ebony Magazine, Aretha Franklin (— not a joke), churches and beauty salons — you get the intention and we encourage you to make your own assumptions about how little they think your life mattered.
By 1913 J&J had figured out that women = really, really good customers, especially for any product that promises to make us feel special or beautiful. See: “Best for Baby, Best for You.” Fast forward to 1965: “Want to feel cool, smooth and dry? It’s as easy as taking powder from a baby.” But it’s one thing to want to feel beautiful. It’s another thing entirely to want to feel beautiful because a company tells you that you are not. Baby Powder’s marketing appeal was so strong because it was backed by cultural myths that women have dirty, unkempt bodies that we need to constantly keep in check. The messaging may be “want to feel cool,” but we all know what they were getting at: You need to mask those odors. That was a message that many African-American women heard loud and clear; in fact, African-American women tend to douche and deodorize their genitals much more than white women, thanks to centuries-old cultural myths that black women are particularly unclean.
Think toxic substances, carcinogens and suspected toxic substances are totally regulated in the US? Think again — there’s more work to be done, especially when it comes to talcum powder. Since as early as the 1970’s studies showed how talcum powder was a threat to babies and children when inhaled. And yet ample studies, and subsequent regulatory efforts, are subpar at best. You can even still easily find talcum powder-based baby powder products in grocery stores and supermarkets across the country. Sadly, talcum powder may be similar to other toxic substances in that there may be a severe “latency period” involved— fancy speak for women who were exposed to talcum powder some ten to thirty years ago may only now be developing ovarian cancer.
TRUTH: Cosmetics do not have to receive FDA approval. Instead, they need to be “properly labeled” and “must be safe for use by consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use.” Said rule’s date of origin? 1938. You’ll find it in a 345-page law titled The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Only problem is the “cosmetic” part of the law is a mere two pages long. Efforts to revise this rule have been fruitless.
You Have The Chance to Do Something About It.
Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products made J&J around $374 million in 2014. But the value of Baby Powder extends so much farther. Baby Powder has always been a staple product for J&J, allowing them to extend their product line into Baby Shampoo and beyond. Still, you have to ask yourself, why did they do it?
It’s hard to imagine how something so simple — a daily dusting of a simple product, could result in so much harm. Maybe they never wanted us to know better.
About That Ovarian Cancer Risk
Ovarian cancer makes up only around 1.3 percent of all new cancer cases in the U.S., however it’s the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women. It’s a cancer that is so extreme, so horrible, that less than half of all patients survive even five years after diagnosis.
By the time most women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer they gone through seemingly endless consults; their symptoms initially excused away as being related to menstrual problems, IBS — you name it.
There are no regular screenings for ovarian cancer.
There are no known causes.
A Case for Women’s Talcum Powder initiative is sponsored by the law firms of Fears Nachawati, PLLC and Carino Law LLC. These firms may be affiliated with select other A Case for Women initiatives.
Fears Nachawati is headquartered in Dallas, TX and Carino Law is headquartered in New York City, New York.
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