Last May, Johnson & Johnson surprised consumers in North America by stopping the sale of a product that it has been known for selling for over 100 years: talcum powder. According to the company, the decision to stop selling talcum-containing products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder® was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, a lack of demand, and lawsuits.
Now, more than 170 nonprofit groups are urging the multibillion-dollar, multinational pharmaceutical giant to stop selling talcum powder products globally just as it has done in North America.
The Problem with Talcum Powder Products
Talcum products made by the company have been linked to ovarian cancer. While Johnson & Johnson has resisted this claim for decades, researchers have connected ovarian cancer to talcum powder since the 1970s. While the exact ways talcum powder causes cancer remains under review, the results from multiple studies are undeniable: they’ve found that women who use the product are as much as 41 percent more likely to develop cancer. Since ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, patients often receive a terminal diagnosis once the signs of it begin to appear.
What Nonprofits Are Asking of Johnson & Johnson
Currently, over 170 nonprofit groups are requesting that Johnson & Johnson halt the sale of talcum powder globally, just as it did in the United States. Nonprofits making this request include Emory University, Greenpeace, and more.
Some groups, such as Black Women for Wellness, are arguing that Johnson & Johnson’s decision to keep selling talcum powder in other countries contradicts a statement it made regarding racial inequality in June.
Notably, J&J has continued to defend the safety of talcum powder. It argues that misinformation about the product's safety has created a hostile environment for its sale in the United States. It's currently facing thousands of lawsuits from cancer patients and their survivors who accuse the company of exposing talcum powder users to asbestos. Johnson & Johnson insists that its decision to stop selling talcum powder in North America is not related to these cases.
If you or someone you love has developed ovarian cancer after using talcum-based baby powder, help is available. Find out more information by visiting our website and filling out our simple online form. Finding out if you have a case is free, confidential, and has no obligations.