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Baby Powder Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Ovarian Cancer Risk

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Johnson & Johnson faces a class action lawsuit over Johnson’s Baby Powder, claiming that the manufacturer failed to warn women about the risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder when it is used on the genital area for feminine hygiene purposes.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Mona Estrada in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on April 28, seeking class action status to represent all women who purchased Johnson’s Baby Powder and force Johnson & Johnson to properly inform consumers about potential health risks, including a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer.

While baby powder is most commonly associated with use to prevent diaper rash or sooth skin, a number of women use the talc-based powder on their body after a shower. As a result of the popularity of this use, Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers have sold similar products as a general body powder, including Johnson Shower-to-Shower powder.

Talc has been used as a body powder for a long time, but concerns have increased in recent years about the potential risk of ovarian cancer when baby powder is applied to the female genitals. Researchers have indicated that the baby powder may migrate through the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, with evidence of talc found within some ovarian tumors.

Estrada maintains that Johnson’s Baby Powder is not safe, and that numerous studies have confirmed that use as a female hygiene product may increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by 33% compared to those women who never used talcum powders.

According to allegations raised in the Baby Powder class action lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson has known for decades about this potential ovarian cancer risk, yet failed to provide any warnings other than indicating that users should avoid contact with eyes and keep the powder away from children’s faces to avoid inhalation.

“None of Defendant’s warnings on the [Johnson’s Baby Powder] label or in any other marketing informed Plaintiff and Class members that use of the product in the genital area, as was encouraged by Defendants, could lead to an increased risk of ovarian cancer,” the complaint states. “Instead, Defendants continues to represent on the labeling and other marketing that Johnson’s Baby Powder is ‘clinical proven mildness’ and ‘clinically proven to be safe, gentle and mild.'”

Estrada does not claim that she has developed ovarian cancer, but rather seeks damages and injunctive relief based on violations of state unfair competition laws and the negligent omissions, misrepresentations and breach of implied warranty.

In October 2013, a South Dakota jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder products, in a lawsuit filed by Deane Berg, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 after using Shower-to-Shower body powder for 30 years.

A growing number of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are now contacting baby powder injury lawyers to review whether financial compensation may be available through similar claims.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organoization, has classified genital use of talc powder as a “possible carcinogen,” and the American Cancer Society has indicated women concerned about the talcum powder cancer risk may want to avoid or limit use by considering cornstarch-based products.

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11 comments

  1. Kathy Reply

    For 40years I have used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. Dec 9, 2013 I had major surgery. I had a hysterectomy, gall bladder, and a 5lb mass removed. For 2 1/2 days it was cancer until the pathologist Recieved the blue slides and it was deemed not cancer. I’m counting my blessings. However, I’ve been racking my mind as to how and where this mass came from. This all makes sense now. I no longer use talcum powder. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  2. ricky Reply

    my mother died from ovarian cancer 4/05/1990 in denver colorado and used johnsons baby power for at lease 20+ years in her house. her name was doris surratt and was treated at st joesph hospital from 1988 to her death 4/05/1990 she die at the age of 56

  3. Zolisha Reply

    Had no clue. I have used shower to shower my entire life. In 2006 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. I,was only 27 then and this prevented me from having more children.

  4. Tracey Reply

    I was a regular user of baby powder after I showered, and I had to have a hysterectomy after 7 months of beyond heavy bleeding, 4 blood transfusions 3 of which were life threatening,

  5. Jami Reply

    I am 32 and have stage two ovarian cancer. I had a hysterectomy and so far three rounds of chemo. I spoke with an attorney today and am joining the class action lawsuit.

  6. Debra Reply

    My Mother was Nova she got Ovarian Cancer in 2003 her tumor grew so fast and large it looked as though she was pregnant, she was almost 67 years old, it was in her Ovaries and attached to her kidneys.. she got a hysterectomy and the Dr.. told us they could not get all of it , but they did extend her life for three years. . Poor woman suffered so . and so have we ever since. Now I found out our case was dropped, and me and my sister have the great future of someday possibly getting Ovarian cancer and all because of this product and our ill advised use of it . No woman in our entire history has had Ovarian Cancer but my mother used Baby Powder most of my life and had me and my sister using it when we did sports in school and working on our farm.. I have a big problem though when they say its been too long since she was diagnosed to have her case presented with all the rest.. she is dead and we have no Mother… if anyone know of a lawyer that will help with our case I would dearly love to be included in this action. we gave our information to a group and they kept it almost a year. got a letter from them stating you are not a good risk because we feel your moms been desesed too long.. Well I feel like someone just stomped on my heart ,, they said she didnt count.. might as well of. so any help to have her name added to this Case,,?? Id be interested…

  7. Kim Reply

    In 2009 an oncologist found that I had stage 3C ovarian Cancer. It was found in my ovaries and Into my colon. 3 years later it came back in my spleen (removed) and and a partial removal of my spleen. I could have died if my spleen was totally ravaged!
    Was lucky to have 1 child but could not have more and no Doctor could figure out why.
    My mother used Johson and Johnson Baby powder on me as a baby and then i used it as a young girl until now.
    I am devastated to read this knowing that it could have lead to me not have more children
    and then the devestating news of this deadly disease of Ovarian Cancer.
    God Bless all of us women who have been devestated by the horrible disease.
    I need to find a good lawyer.
    If anyone can direct me to one i would certainly appreciate it.

  8. Doreen Reply

    I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in March 2010. I subsequently have had a hysterectomy and 6 mos. of chemotherapy. I have used Johnsons talc since I was a baby because I thought it was the safest product available at the time. My mother always had Shower to Shower in her bathroom, she liked the way it kept her dry between showers. Who knew?

  9. Tom Reply

    My sister died of ovarian cancer at age 57 , as far as i know my other three sisters my mom & grandmother also used talc powder , they did not die of or have not yet have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer

  10. Dawn Reply

    My mom used talcum powder daily all her adult life. She developed ovarian cancer at the age of 50. Our family had no hx of this disease so we just thought it was a fluke thing. She endured numerous surgeries and chemotherapy but succumb to the disease at the age of 53. This was 20 years ago. I am at peace with it but I find it disturbing to find out that because my mom followed J&J’s recommendations for use for that time, she paid the cost, leaving us at such a young age.

  11. Denise Reply

    My mother was an avid user of Johnson and Johnson baby powedercand shower to shower. She was diagnosed at the age of 57 in 1994 and died at the age of 62 in 1998.

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