For the third time this year, a court of law has awarded tens of millions of dollars to a woman who alleged she developed ovarian cancer as a result of her regular use of Johnson’s Baby Powder, a talc-based product that some experts say can be quite dangerous.
This time, a jury in St. Louis, Missouri awarded $70 million to Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. Giannecchini regularly used the powder in her genital area, and though many believe there is no link between talc and cancer, this is the third St. Louis-based case that has found in favor of the plaintiff and against consumer products giant, Johnson and Johnson (J & J).
Though some say there’s no credence to the claims about talc, the attorney for all three St. Louis cases cites research that dates back to the 1970s connecting talc to ovarian cancer.
He also noted that scientific studies show that women who regularly use talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes are 40 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Those are numbers that make it hard to argue against the plaintiffs, he adds.
Of the three women whose cases resulted in a sizeable award, only Giannecchini is still living. Reports show, however, that some 2,000 additional women (or their survivors) have filed suit against Johnson & Johnson for talc-related cancers and cancer deaths.
It’s a number that likely makes company lawyers cringe though they maintain that J & J is innocent as far as any negligence is concerned. Still, plaintiffs and their attorneys believe Johnson and Johnson should have warned consumers a long time ago about the risk of talc-related cancer.
Sadly, The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies genital use of talc as “possibly carcinogenic” but offers no further warning. The National Toxicology Program, which is comprised of parts of several different government agencies, has not fully reviewed talc at this time, notes a story published by CNBC.
Talc is a mineral that is mined in several different parts of the world. Many of the United States’ talc mines are located in the northern states such as Minnesota and Montana though Texas also boasts a few mines of this sort.
Talc miners are known to have a higher than average chance of developing mesothelioma cancer due to their exposure to talc dust on the job. As a matter of fact, fibers of both tremolite and anthophyllite varieties of asbestos have been found in the lungs of talc miners.
Still, Johnson and Johnson refuses to make the connection. In a statement provided to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Carol Goodrich, J & J spokesperson, said: “We deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer. We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
In the meantime, those already impacted by the negative effects of talc are advised to contact an attorney for more information about their legal rights as a victim of J & J’s negligence.