Johnson & Johnson does not tell its customers that using its talc-based products like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder in the genital area for personal hygiene could cause ovarian cancer “despite the potential catastrophic health consequences,” according to a class action lawsuit against the consumer health care giant. “Instead, defendants continue to expressly and impliedly represent that the product is safe and intended for women to use the Baby Powder in the very manner most likely to result in an increased risk of ovarian cancer,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit comes just months after a jury found that regular use of Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower in the genital area caused a South Dakota woman to develop ovarian cancer, and that the company failed to warn consumers of this risk. Despite the judgment, Johnson & Johnson said it still would not add a warning for ovarian cancer to the product’s label.
Since then, several other lawsuits have been filed by women who developed cancer after regular use of the products. Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit have not developed ovarian cancer, but say they were misled by the company falsely advertising that its talc-containing products were safe – even for babies – despite studies dating back as far as 30 years showing that talc applied to the genital area can cause ovarian cancer.
The nanoparticles of minerals that make up talc, when applied to the genitals of women, can travel up the vagina, into the cervix and uterus, through the fallopian tubes and to the ovaries where they can inflame tissue and encourage the growth of cancerous tumors.
The lawsuit claims that, “defendants’ omissions and representations constitute deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, unfair practices and omission, concealment, and suppression of material information in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise in trade or commerce…”