Appalled By Talcum Powder Lawsuits? Crucial Facts to Know

Appalled By Talcum Powder Lawsuits? Crucial Facts to Know

In April 2023, the BBC reported that Johnson & Johnson made a settlement proposal of $9 billion to resolve numerous lawsuits in North America. The company has been accused of manufacturing talc-based products, such as baby powder, that allegedly cause cancer.

Despite maintaining that the claims don’t have merit, the healthcare giant intends to end the legal disputes through this new offer. The proposed amount of $9 billion is significantly more than the earlier offer of $2 billion. Johnson & Johnson claims that the revised settlement offer has gained substantial support from individuals associated with the case.

Currently, the company is facing over 40,000 lawsuits filed by former customers who assert that its talc-based baby powder resulted in cancer. Some specifically claim that the product contains asbestos, a known carcinogen, that is detrimental to health.

Johnson & Johnson states that while it has successfully managed most talc-related lawsuits, it has also incurred substantial losses. In one case, 22 women were awarded a judgment that exceeded $2 billion. The company said that nearly 60,000 current claimants have expressed their interest in accepting the new terms of the settlement.

In February 2023, NBC News reported on Deborah Smith, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003. In her lawsuit, Smith mentioned using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for 15 years as a feminine hygiene product, which she believed helped keep her skin dry by absorbing sweat. Her lawsuit also referenced over 25 published studies dating back to 1982 that analyzed the link between talc powder and ovarian cancer in women.

Is Talc Hazardous for Human Health?

Simply put, talc is a compound called hydrous magnesium silicate that is naturally found on earth. It is composed of silicon, magnesium, hydrogen, and oxygen. It is extracted from rocks and used in several products, one of which is baby powder.

Talc, in its natural state, can contain asbestos, a compound that can cause cancer, especially when inhaled. As a response to this issue, the trade association representing manufacturers of cosmetic and personal care products requested the voluntary removal of asbestos from talc used in their products in 1976.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have declared asbestos as a human carcinogen that causes cancer in humans. Asbestos exposure can cause cancer in the larynx and lungs. It can also lead to mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer affecting the chest and stomach lining.

The Link Between Talc and Ovarian Cancer


Talc is a leading cause of ovarian cancer in women. A large-scale study that was published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) stated that women who used talc products have a higher chance of developing ovarian cancer. The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) has observed a rise from a lifetime risk of 1.3% to 1.7%. Even though the available research is limited, the findings remain consistent.

In March 2023, an updated report in shared about Robyn Andersen, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who always inquiries women with ovarian cancer whether they have used talcum powder. She acknowledged that talc powder is a potential risk for cancer, but one has to find out to what extent it can impact women’s health.

Andersen asserts that the finely-ground particles in the powder can migrate through the mucous membrane of the vaginal canal and move to the ovaries as time passes. It can lead to inflammation, thereby causing cancer.

Baby Powder Lawsuit Update 2023 : Navigating the Legal Path

In May 2023, a Forbes news report stated that the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, who was overseeing Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) effort to transfer the responsibility for talc lawsuits to a subsidiary named LTL Management, LLC (LTL) and subsequently declare bankruptcy, issued an order for all involved parties to engage in mediated settlement discussions.

The judge asked the parties to return to the negotiation table to attempt to reach a settlement through mediation. The judge has also temporarily halted litigation for the cases that have already been filed.

In May 2023, a South Carolina jury awarded a woman $29.14 million in a lawsuit against Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, a former talc supplier. The woman claimed that her mesothelioma was caused by using talc products contaminated with asbestos.

Many women who have used talc powder aren’t aware of the potential health hazards it causes. However, if it’s medically proven that talc is the cause of ovarian cancer or any ailment in women, it is necessary to file a lawsuit against the manufacturing brand. Women pursuing a baby powder lawsuit should also learn about the average settlement for talcum powder lawsuits so that they can claim the compensation amount they deserve.

TorHoerman Law states that women who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, fallopian tube cancer, ovarian cancer, and other types of cancer can file a baby powder lawsuit. Also, it can take anywhere between a year to about a decade for the final settlement. There is no fixed duration as the time for settlement varies from one case to the other.


In April 2023, Time reported on the American Academy of Pediatrics which has always been against talc baby powder use, stating that it can lead to cancer and cause inhalation issues.

However, talc is still not banned in the United States. Most baby powder brands are shifting to cornstarch as an alternative to talc, which is considered a safer choice. However, the medical community still needs ample research to confirm the same verdict.

Women who have suffered from cancer or any other health hazards due to talc powder use should opt in for both medical and legal assistance.

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