A woman from California was recently award over $400 million dollars by a jury after she got ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for decades. The money in total was $417 million: $347 million for punitive damages and $79 million in compensatory damages.
At 63 years of age, Eva Echeverria, stemming from L.A., claimed she had been using the product routinely as part of her feminine hygiene regimen since the age of 11. After she read a story last year about a woman who developed ovarian cancer from the powder, she stopped using it.
This is the first of hundreds of cases along the same lines that have to be decided upon in California. One New Jersey case was dismissed and there our four other returned verdicts against the company. Thousands of other similar cases are currently being conducted in federal and state courts.
CNN reported that the woman stated that had Johnson & Johnson offered a warning label on the powder, she would have stopped using it.
Under the law, talcum powder is thought of as a cosmetic and does not need to be reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), therefore Johnson & Johnson does not have a legal obligation to place a label of that nature on this product. Still, according to the FDA, the company is required to label products with ingredients used, as well as other much-needed information.
It’s important to note, some other talcum powders current available in stores do offer labels that provide mentions around potential ovarian cancer risk if applied regularly to a female’s genital region.
Research in the past has offered mixed results around talc-based powders and links to cancer. A study conducted by a World Health Organization (WHO) division known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that talc-based powders offered a possibility when it came to carcinogenic risks to humans when used in the genital area. Meanwhile, research by the American Cancer Society didn’t find a clear connection around this type of product enhancing cancer risks to individuals.
So, the debate continues …