Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder has faced years of public controversy, and the company has been a defendant in asbestos litigation due to the tainted talc used in their world-famous baby powder formula. 

The pharmaceutical giant’s baby powder has been linked to multiple cancers due to traces of asbestos, a cancer-causing mineral, being found in the talcum (talc) powder used as the base ingredient in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder. This explains how talc powders cause cancer.

Johnson & Johnson stocked global markets with its baby powder more than 100 years ago and finally pulled their iconic baby powder from North American shelves in 2020 after public outrage over the potential cancer-causing ingredients, like asbestos. Today, the health corporation manufactures its baby powder with cornstarch as the main ingredient – instead of talc – because Johnson & Johnson talc Baby Powder was not safe to use.

There have been countless talcum powder-mesothelioma lawsuits alleging that Johnson & Johnson knew about the asbestos-contaminated talc being used to create their baby powder and still maintained production and distribution. Most of these claims come from people who consistently used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder throughout their lifetime and eventually developed cancer or another asbestos disease. 

All the Johnson & Johnson cancer allegations lead consumers to asking a slew of important questions. Does Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder cause cancer? What kind of cancer does talc cause? Is talc powder safe to use? How do you file a baby powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson?

The juries hearing Johnson & Johnson cases around the country typically rule in favor of the victims, ordering the massive healthcare corporation to pay millions of dollars – sometimes billions – in damages to compensate asbestos victims and their loved ones.

 

Mesothelioma and Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder 

Mesothelioma is an extremely rare cancer of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) or abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma). There are less than 3,000 diagnoses each year. There is only one substance known to cause mesothelioma: asbestos. This means that anyone who is diagnosed with mesothelioma was exposed to asbestos at some point during their life, even if it was by using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder.

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral, often found near asbestos. The two minerals can sometimes mix together, leading to talc contamination and the reason talcum powder and mesothelioma have been linked.

Some wonder if all talc products have asbestos. The answer is “no”, but enough have been contaminated to prove talc is not a safe ingredient.

Talcum powder containing asbestos is an extreme health hazard as it is a very loose powder product. Once asbestos particles are released into the air – usually in a dust or powder form – they are easily and unknowingly ingested (by mouth) or inhaled (by nose). The tiny asbestos fibers are highly toxic and can become lodged in the tissue lining of your lungs or abdomen, causing the sharp fibers to puncture healthy cells and mutate into incurable mesothelioma. 

Of the two types of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma is more commonly diagnosed, accounting for nearly 80% of mesothelioma cases; while peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for less than 15% of all mesothelioma cases. 

Because the types of mesothelioma occur in different areas of the body, the symptoms of mesothelioma can be widely different. Pleural mesothelioma symptoms might include chest pain, fluid build up in the pleura, painful breathing and a persistent cough. Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms can include stomach pains, fluid build up in the peritoneum, unexplained weight loss and decreased appetite.  

Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder was stocked in supermarkets and drug stores across the United States and the world for over 100 years, meaning countless people were potentially exposed to the tainted talc and could develop mesothelioma from talcum powder.

 

Lung Cancer and Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder

Asbestos contaminated talcum powder can cause lung cancer by the inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers. This can lead to the development of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although pleural mesothelioma is a rare type of lung cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer is a bit different in the development of the cancer. 

Asbestos lung cancer is caused by inhaling toxic asbestos fibers. The loose particles enter the body and make their way to the lungs, eventually mutating the same way mesothelial cells would. The two cancers are very similar, but the main difference between mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer is that asbestos is not the sole cause of lung cancer. However, inhaling asbestos will lead to an increased risk of lung cancer.   

Treatment and symptoms of lung cancer and mesothelioma are very similar and almost indistinguishable to non-medical personnel. Treatment options may include a pneumonectomy  (removal of a lung), chemotherapy or radiation. All of these treatments are typically options for pleural mesothelioma patients, as well. Shared symptoms might be persistent cough, shortness of breath or painful breathing. 

 

Ovarian Cancer and Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder 

If you’re wondering whether you can get ovarian cancer from baby powder, the answer is a resounding yes. Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder has been linked to ovarian cancer due to mass amounts of women claiming J&J’s talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer. Women are at a high risk of developing ovarian cancer due to their use of J&J’s Baby Powder and the corporation’s marketing strategies.

How does talcum powder cause ovarian cancer? The answer is the same as the other cancers: asbestos fibers irritating the tissue of the organ.

Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder was primarily marketed towards women and children as both a cosmetic and hygienic product. For decades, women lathered themselves and their children in baby powder for various reasons but could’ve never imagined the consequences of this product. Women were one of the groups who used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder daily.

Ovarian cancer can be deadly. Around 21,000 women are diagnosed each year and close to 14,000 people die from the disease annually. Any cancer is a battle and can be taxing on an individual and their loved ones – especially when the cancer targets your reproductive organs.

Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include abdominal bloating or swelling, feeling full faster while eating, weight loss, pelvic discomfort, fatigue, back pain, constipation or frequent urge to urinate. Many of these symptoms can be overlooked as common menstrual cycle side effects, which is why it is important to have regular check ups with your doctor.  

A cancer diagnosis in any form is shocking to an individual and their loved ones – especially if it originated from a common household product created by a once-trusted pharmaceutical corporation.

 

    Sources & Author

    Ovarian cancer. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20375941. Accessed: 07/18/22.

    Asbestos and Cancer Risk. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/chemicals/asbestos.html. Accessed: 07/19/22.

    Ex-Brooklyn resident wins $325M in Johnson & Johnson tainted baby powder suit. New York Post. Retrieved from: https://nypost.com/2019/05/31/ex-brooklyn-resident-wins-325m-in-johnson-johnson-tainted-baby-powder-suit/. Accessed: 07/19/22.

Camryn Keeble image

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is a content writer and community outreach member for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates mesothelioma-related content for the Mesothelioma Guide website. Camryn's goal is to decipher advanced information regarding mesothelioma into informative, simplified content to educate those affected by mesothelioma. She also works diligently to raise awareness of mesothelioma and its effects on patients and their loved ones by participating in daily outreach.

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    Sources & Author

Picture of Camryn Keeble

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is a content writer and community outreach member for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates mesothelioma-related content for the Mesothelioma Guide website. Camryn's goal is to decipher advanced information regarding mesothelioma into informative, simplified content to educate those affected by mesothelioma. She also works diligently to raise awareness of mesothelioma and its effects on patients and their loved ones by participating in daily outreach.