We know that talc is a mineral and it is mined from the earth. The softest mineral on earth, talc is packaged by the mining company and shipped to various manufacturers who use it in their products. Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder is 99% talc. Once it adds it instantly recognizable fragrance – J&J has created its Baby Powder that is used by millions.
Here’s the rub: When the talc was packaged and shipped from the mining company, it was accompanied by a written warning on every bag or barrel. The written statement, called a Material Data Safety Sheet, provided data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that stated, “perineal use of talc-based body powder is possibly carcinogenic to humans. This is not a route of exposure relevant for workers and applies to one specific use of talc only.” The “one specific use of talc” was that to which Johnson & Johnson was marketing its Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talcum products to women. Both of these powders were being used on the perineal, or genital, area as a feminine hygiene product.
Johnson & Johnson has ignored the information provided on the MSDS and will not change their formula or pass along the warning to its consumer. J&J continues to ignore the statistics, studies, and warnings relating to talc and the diagnosis of ovarian cancer provided to them and still have not provided a warning on its Baby Powder.
Johnson & Johnson doesn't share its profits per product, but its baby care, skin care and women's care units earned a combined $1.6 billion in revenue last year, of which talc-based products are likely a small percentage. The $1.6 billion in sales for these three units represent about 2.2 percent of the company's total $70.1 billion in 2015 sales.
If you or a loved one regularly used Johnson’s Baby Powder and received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, please contact the talc lawyers at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP to discuss your potential claim in further detail.