Other parts of the world are also paying attention to the shocking verdicts against Johnson & Johnson and its baby powder and shower to shower talc products. In Malaysia April 2016, the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) warned Malaysians that talc is toxic and can cause tumors.
Talcum Powder raises Ovarian Cancer Risk
Tiny talcum powder particles can embed in the lungs and the ovaries. Studies have shown women who use talcum powder as a drying agent or for feminine hygiene in their genital areas have a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer than those who use no talc. Ovarian cancer is often deadly, largely because it is difficult to detect until it reaches advanced stages.
Qatar Talcum Powder Ban
Qatar’s announcement came in the midst of plaintiffs winning three talcum powder cancer lawsuits in the United States. Two of those verdicts resulted in large monetary awards for women who used talc and then later developed ovarian cancer and died.
The two large jury awards – $72 million and $55 million – strongly suggest that J&J’s baby powder and shower to shower products have some problems. While the baby powder cancer outcomes in the jury trials do not serve as definitive proof that talcum powder is carcinogenic to women, they do strongly support the notion of a link between baby powder and ovarian cancer. Both juries were shown documents in which it was clear decades ago that Johnson & Johnson officials were concerned about a baby powder ovarian cancer link.
The juries were also shown evidence that J&J targeted Black and Latino women even as it was clear to the company that these women were at greater risk of ovarian cancer through their use of talcum powder.
J&J Found Guilty of Conspiracy, Fraud, Negligence
Both juries which rendered huge awards were presented with extensive talcum powder cancer research. They were also shown several internal company documents which demonstrated that J&J company officials were long aware of a talcum powder cancer link.
The jury which awarded $72 million found J&J guilty of conspiracy, fraud and negligence for failing to warn American consumers of the talcum powder ovarian cancer connection.
Country bans Johnson’s Baby Powder
The Qatari Ministry of Municipality and the Environment issued the ban of talcum powder products on a temporary basis while it examines evidence presented in the baby powder cancer lawsuit. Qatar had convened a governmental committee to examine the safety of baby powder and other talc-based body products prior to the first large verdict, the $72 million award.
A J&J representative in Qatar insisted Johnson’s baby powder and other talc products are safe for regular use, despite the jury awards.
Qatar continues to test talcum powder for safety. Until the government agency concludes its investigation, Qatar stores will not be permitted to sell Johnson’s baby powder.