Recent reports have uncovered new information about the ingredients and potential contamination of Johnson & Johnson products. Specifically, there are concerns around baby powders and other talcum-based powders.
Dangers of Talcum Powder: Link to Cancer
Talcum powder is formed from talc, a combination of silicon, magnesium, and oxygen to form a mineral. When in powder form, it absorbs moisture and reduces friction. For many people, babies and moms alike, these powders help with dry skin and prevents rashes. It is common in both baby powders and adult body powders.
However, with recent research, the question raised centers on: Is talcum powder dangerous?
The Link between Asbestos and Talc
In a natural form, talc has asbestos. This substance is linked to cancers, specifically around and in the lungs. Talc can also be dangerous when applied externally.
For women, it can travel into the ovaries, and the talc particles can cultivate cancer. Research has discovered talcum powder can increase the risk of ovarian cancer from 2% to 33%. So, in short, the use of talc-based powders can be dangerous for women and increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
Does All Talcum Powder Have Asbestos?
In answering the question, “does talcum powder cause cancer,” one has to distinguish whether or not the talcum powder has asbestos contamination. Some talc powders are asbestos-free and some are not. Research primarily focuses on asbestos based talc. There is not much research around asbestos-free talc and cancer.
Do Companies Know the Dangers of Talc?
In short, yes, companies are aware of the dangers and risks posed by talc. This has been a concern for decades. The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association (CFTA) released guidelines in 1976 urging companies to ensure products were free from asbestos in detectable amounts. The CFTA is the leading trade association for the cosmetic and personal care products industry.
However, despite these urgings, court documents showed companies like Johnson & Johnson were aware of dangerous levels of asbestos in talc for close to 40 years. Research has linked talc and cancer as early as 1971. Marketing after these discoveries failed to warn people of the potential risks. Even after medical consultants warned the company against negligence and false advertising, sufficient action was not taken.
Taking It to Court
Johnson & Johnson has recently disclosed questioning from federal regulators surrounding talcum-based powders and potential dangers. This questioning from federal regulators rises from lawsuits surrounding the powder’s connection to cancer. The investigation and research have been building for decades. Some of these cases have already been successful with outcomes such as a payment of $4.7 billion to 22 Missouri women claiming a connection between powder use and ovarian cancer.
A large part of the success is due to the work of expert lawyers who understand the devastation of cancer linked to household products. The most recent claims have involved the Shower to Shower cancer lawsuit lawyer Miller. Miller Firm LLC has helped affected clients to navigate the nuances of a courtroom while dealing with complex legal proceedings.
Where Are the FDA Regulations?
The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate or approve cosmetic products like powders. For this reason, there hasn’t been much in terms of FDA testing for dangerous substances in talcum powders.
If the FDA is compelled, it can take action against products with unsafe ingredients, like asbestos. Despite the legal actions and research, the FDA has not conducted tests of talc-based products for traces of asbestos. Asbestos was banned from talc products over four decades ago.
With the combination of research and the success of the Missouri verdict, the question becomes how to stay safe and find safe products. The best way to stay safe is to simply not use the products. However, two ways to increase the dangers of talcum powder is to inhale the powder or experience prolonged exposure through the air. For women, using the products on genitals can expose ovaries to the cancer-related issues. To stay safe, always educate yourself on the ingredients of your products and the potential dangers associated with minerals or ingredients you do not recognize.