Failure to Warn of the Dangers
For decades, medical studies have documented a link between the use of talc products in the genital or groin area and ovarian cancer. In fact, in 1982, a Harvard epidemiologist, Dr. Daniel Cramer, authored a study showing a strong link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. In response to the study, Johnson & Johnson reportedly contacted Dr. Cramer to discuss his findings, and Dr. Cramer advised Johnson & Johnson to pull the products from the shelves or, at a minimum, warn users of the dangers. Yet Johnson & Johnson continue to manufacture baby powder and similar products with talc without any warnings about an elevated ovarian cancer risk.
Since Dr. Cramer’s study, there have been 21 other studies that demonstrate an elevated risk for ovarian cancer with the use of talcum powder in the genital or groin area. According to reports, in 1994, the Cancer Prevention Coalition sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson echoing the concerns of Dr. Cramer and again asking them to either remove the products from the marketplace or warn consumers so they could make an informed decision about their continued use of the product. The products remain on the shelf without any warnings.
In 2006, Imerys S.A., one of the largest mining companies for talc, began placing cancer warnings on the Material Safety Data Sheets delivered with the products to Johnson & Johnson and others.
Despite all of this and more, Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers continue to manufacture products containing talc without any warnings. Johnson’s Baby Powder currently only contains the following warning:
Keep powder away from child’s face to avoid inhalation, which can cause breathing problems. Avoid contact with eyes. For external use only. Keep out of reach of children.
Likewise, Shower to Shower Original and Sport both only contain the following warnings:
If rash or irritation develops, discontinue use. Do not apply to broken, irritated skin.
The products do not contain any warning about the use of talcum products and increased risk of ovarian cancer.
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