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A jury has awarded $72m (aust $100m) to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer.

They have said it was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other products containing talcum.

The civil suit by Jackie Fox of Birmingham, Alabama, was part of a broader claim in the city of St. Louis circuit court involving nearly 60 people. Her son took over as plaintiff following his mother’s October 2015 death at 62, more than two years after her diagnosis.

Marvin Salter of Jacksonville, Florida, said his late mother, who was a foster parent, used the brand of talcum powder as a bathroom staple for decades. “It just became second nature, like brushing your teeth,” he said. “It’s a household name.”

Mrs Fox claimed she used two of the company’s talc-based products – Baby Powder and Shower to Shower – as feminine hygiene produces for more than 35 years before being diagnosed three years ago with ovarian cancer.

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An attorney for Fox said the jury verdict Monday night, which came after nearly five hours of deliberations at the conclusion of a three-week trial, was the first such case among more than 1,000 nationally to result in a jury’s monetary award.

The jury said that Fox was entitled to $10m in actual damages and $62m in punitive damages. Attorney James Onder said he “absolutely” expects Johnson & Johnson – the world’s biggest maker of healthcare products – to appeal the verdict.

Johnson&Johnson

In May 2009, a coalition of groups called the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics began pushing Johnson & Johnson to eliminate questionable ingredients from its baby and adult personal care products. After three years of petitions, negative publicity and a boycott threat, the company agreed in 2012 to eliminate the ingredients 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde, both considered probable human carcinogens, from all products by 2015.

Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, said: ‘We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers, and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial. We sympathize with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.’

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  • We use so many chemicals on our bodies every day :(

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  • Thank you for sharing the article.

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  • yeah it is scary to wonder what the chemicals in products that we use, are doing to us

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  • everything out there will kill you these days.

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  • yeh right,what else would you expect them to say,and if they are so concerned about tjis ladies death,why are they going to lodge an appeal,and everyone \knows the reason or that,this case has set a precident,and it’s really going to cost them h.u.g.e,they may even go under!!

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  • Listened to a professor on the radio this morning and he said it had not been proven and was unlikely to be proven that talc could cause ovarian cancer but did comment on the fact it could cause respiratory problems. Guess it could be like smoking, some smokers get lung cancer and others don’t and other non smokers get lung cancer. Please keep an open mind.

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  • What I find weird, is how can they actually be 100% sure that exactly that talcum is responsible for that woman cancer. She could have used hundreds of other products. Or there could have been other reasons. It’s not that easy to identify the culprit!

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  • I used to use J & J baby powder for my older kids years ago, then changed to Curash for the younger lot because I’d read somewhere that there had been studies done on the stuff cancer causing. Something about tiny particles of talcum travelling from where you sprinkle the stuff into your lady bits comes to mind. So if you change bub and sprinkle in the nappy area it can travel where it shouldn’t be.
    My grownup daughter never used it for her bubs, took one of her little ones to the doctor and took the nappy off to show the doctor something or other and he went off because he thought she was using baby powder, it was Curash, the doctor wasn’t happy about that one either, so who knows.

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  • There’s a wide variance in comments here, for and against. Baby powder is something I have in the cupboard but have very rarely used. In fact, after receiving some as a baby gift 14 years ago, I’m slowly using some in the bottom of the bathroom bin to make my own scented rubbish bins – just a light sprinkling in each clean bag to make it a little more pleasant with the nappies and such.

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  • Hmmm, very concerning and serious stuff. My Mum is nearing 80 and she has used talcum powder forever and still does. Not necessarily J&J, but various brands.

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  • I never use talcum powder but it is extremely concerning that their products which are primarily aimed at babies contain toxins that cause cancer.

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  • I used to used their baby lotion but then they must have chsnged to ingredients and it ended up burning my skin.
    Also used to use their baby oul but will never use it again as this is what many beauty salons use to clean up wax etc that is spilt. If you saw how well it cleans up wax, fake tattoos etc then you wouldn’t use it in your own skin let aloneon a babies skin.
    Instead of talc try something like CureRash as it contains cornflour and is good for rashes especially under the bra and breast area.

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  • Concerning !!

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  • If there is scientific evidence to prove it caused cancer. It should be taken off the market

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  • I heard that years ago and stopped using powders too. As a bigger person using powder stops you from feeling uncomfortable and sweaty.

    Reply

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