Talcum powder lawsuits have surged lately, with plaintiffs from across the United States alleging a connection between talc-based products and cancer diagnoses. These lawsuits are compelling manufacturers to take responsibility for failing or neglecting to warn consumers about their product’s potential health risks. Among the many talc powders alleged to cause cancer is the Johnson and Johnson talcum powder, a known brand across the United States and the world.


This article will explore the intricacies of these lawsuits, the links between talc, asbestos, and cancer, and what individuals thinking of taking legal action should understand.


The Underlying Issue


Plaintiffs from all 50 states have come forward, asserting that manufacturers were aware of the presence of asbestos in products containing talcum powder. They contend that these products could lead to serious health conditions, such as mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer, and ovarian cancer, but manufacturers neglected to warn the consumers.


Understanding Talc’s Danger


Both talc and asbestos are minerals that are found naturally and are frequently found in proximity to each other. While talc is commonly used in various cosmetic products, including baby powder and makeup, asbestos is a well-established carcinogen with a long history of causing severe health issues.


The revelation of asbestos in talc-based products has only recently come to light, creating a significant product liability challenge for manufacturers. Even though a small percentage of talc products have tested positive for asbestos contamination, the mere presence of any detectable asbestos in cosmetic talc products raises valid concerns.


Furthermore, there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure, and consumers do not reasonably expect cosmetic products like baby powder to contain asbestos. In addition to the failure to label talc products with a health warning, claims have also asserted that manufacturers have not screened their talc products for asbestos; thus, it is an issue of neglect.


Talc and Its Link to Cancer


The majority of talcum powder lawsuits assert that talc-based cosmetic products, particularly baby powder, are linked to the development of ovarian cancer due to asbestos contamination. Litigation also includes claims of connections between talc and fallopian tube cancer and peritoneal cancer. Furthermore, there are ongoing lawsuits suggesting that exposure to industrial or cosmetic talc contributed to the development of mesothelioma, a disease primarily caused by asbestos.


Some plaintiffs argue that, regardless of asbestos contamination, talc exposure alone poses significant health risks and can lead to various diseases. As a result, manufacturers, distributors, brands, and retailers of talcum powder have faced tens of thousands of lawsuits, with recent settlements and jury verdicts awarding billions of dollars to plaintiffs.


The Johnson & Johnson Case


Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is a company that has faced numerous lawsuits due to asbestos-contaminated Johnson and Johnson talcum powder, particularly in their baby powder products. In October 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed a year-long study and identified asbestos in several talc-containing cosmetic products. This discovery led to recalls of some products containing traces of asbestos, including a recall of a lot of Johnson’s Baby Powder in the same month.


By April 2020, J&J was named in thousands of lawsuits alleging a connection between their talc products and cancer diagnoses. The company decided to stop selling talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in the U.S. and Canada. In August 2022, J&J announced its intention to remove all talcum powder products from the global market in 2023, replacing talc with cornstarch.


Eligibility for Talcum Powder Lawsuits


If you have used talc-containing products and subsequently developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, then you may choose to file a talcum powder lawsuit. In the case of ovarian cancer, claimants must have used talc-containing products near the cancer area, typically for four or more years, before developing the disease. The diagnosis must have occurred after the year 2000, and the claimant should be between the ages of 22 and 65.


For mesothelioma-related lawsuits, the type of talc products used can include cosmetic ones, like baby powder, as well as exposure to industrial-grade talc found in various applications, such as clay, paper, paint, ceramics, adhesive materials, crayons, supplements, and more. It’s important to note that cornstarch-based baby powders do not contain talc, so users of these products are not eligible for talc-cancer lawsuits.


Proper documentation connecting the health condition to the talc-containing product is vital during the discovery phase of litigation. A clear diagnosis from a licensed healthcare professional is essential, providing evidence in support of the plaintiff’s case.


Filing a Talcum Powder Lawsuit


For those who have developed cancer after using talc-containing products, it is important to consult a lawyer to assess the claim’s merit and determine eligibility for a talcum powder lawsuit. A qualified attorney can guide individuals through the legal process as they seek justice for the harm caused by talc-based products. In Florida, the statute of limitation to file a talcum powder lawsuit is two years from the date of diagnosis. So, make sure to file your case as early as possible if you think you are eligible to file this case.