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Talcum Powder Sold For Over a Century, Despite Dangers


No one knows exactly how much Johnson and Johnson concealed of the dangers of talc powder use as feminine hygiene, but we do know jurors in St. Louis ordered the pharmaceutical giant to pay $72 million to a plaintiff who died of ovarian cancer. Why did Johnson and Johnson continue to market the talc product for feminine hygiene?

Talc is inexpensive and is among the softest minerals on earth. Talc can absorb odors and moisture. Talc is made of minerals such as magnesium, silicon, and oxygen and found in deposits above ground. Did you know that talc is also used in eye shadow, blush, and chewing gum? And it can be found in rubber, paint, ceramics, paper and plastic. While China is the largest source of talc, Johnson & Johnson’s primary source of talc comes from the southern province of Guangxi.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey company, Johnson & Johnson started selling Baby Powder over a century ago. Johnson & Johnson introduced Baby Powder in 1894 and was made of 99.8 percent talc and 0.2 percent mix of fragrant oils. The baby powder was sold in metal tins and marketed for toilet and nursery use. Many are familiar with the particular scent of baby powder. Since the early 1900s, Johnson & Johnson marketed the use of talc to women. The ads and taglines persuaded women to not only use the powder on babies, but to use the powder on themselves. Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder products sold nearly $374 million in 2014 and their signature baby powder has made their baby division worth near $2 billion.

The studies showing the risks of using talc on genitals was released in 1971 with many others to follow over the last 45 years. Over 1200 claims are still pending against Johnson & Johnson, accusing the company of failing to warn consumers and concealing information. If you have developed ovarian cancer and you have been a long time consumer of Johnson & Johnson’s talc products, please contact the product liability attorneys at Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC, and learn more about your legal options during a free consultation.

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