More than 1,200 lawsuits allege the long-term use of baby powder around the groin caused ovarian cancer in women, but is it possible baby powder can cause more than one type of cancer? A new lawsuit filed in California claims Johnson & Johnson (J&J) baby powder products caused a woman’s uterine cancer.
Delores Gould used J&J baby powder products for feminine hygiene for most of her life until 2006 when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Ms. Gould underwent extensive treatments for uterine cancer, even having her uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries removed. Unfortunately for Ms. Gould, her diagnosis came just after her 30th birthday, and now she is unable to have biological children on her own. In her lawsuit against J&J, she claims the company failed to warn her of the cancer risks associated with baby powder, and if she had known the risks, she would never have used its products.
While there are over 20 epidemiological studies linking the talc in baby powder to ovarian cancer, the link between baby powder and uterine cancer has been far less studied. Ms. Gould hopes her lawsuit will not only hold J&J responsible for gross negligence, but also encourage more testing of talc to better understand its risk.
Ms. Gould joins the baby powder litigation at a pivotal time. Later this month, the fourth baby powder trial begins in a St. Louis courtroom. If the trial results in another multimillion-dollar verdict for plaintiffs, it could encourage J&J to settle the remaining baby powder lawsuits.
Whether or not J&J decides to settle cases or take them to trial, the company has already suffered in the court of public opinion. Previous baby powder trials have put J&J’s negligence in the spotlight, and consumers have been horrified by the company’s actions. Although the company has been a leader in the baby powder market for more than a century, many consumers are making a switch to safer alternatives.