Markesa Kilmartin of Greenville, S.C., has more than 30 thousand supporters of her petition to get Johnson and Johnson’s talc products off the shelves. The ovarian cancer victim advocate and activist started a petition in the name of her deceased mother, Jana Yeager, who died of ovarian cancer at the age of 38 following a four year battle with the deadly disease.
Yeager did not carry the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene; however, according to her daughter, she used Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Powder every day. Kilmartin is convinced the talc use was a factor in the development of her mother’s cancer.
“Just like taking a shower or putting moisturizer on – she did this because it was ‘good for her skin’ and ‘leaves her skin soft, dry and smelling good!’ Little did she know she was putting poisons in her body on a daily basis,” Markesa Kilmartin said of her mother’s talc use.
Genital talc use has been linked to ovarian cancer through dozens of studies over the past several decades. Researchers just this March published findings in the medical journal Epidemiology indicating that women who used talc for feminine hygiene had a 33 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer.
Lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson have been alleging that the company was aware of these studies for many years and that it has disregarded warnings from its own paid consultants to take the cancer risk seriously. Two juries have seen internal documents from Johnson and Johnson allegedly showing how the company chose to ignore talc’s association to cancer and continued marketing the product to women for personal hygiene. Those juries slammed Johnson and Johnson with huge verdicts that caught the attention of the whole world, totalling $127 million between the two.
“After speaking with Johnson & Johnson on 9/23/16 and listening to them tell me that they have no plans of taking their talc containing products off the shelves, due to them being ‘government approved’, I knew I had to do something – if for nothing else, to raise awareness!,” said an outraged Markesa Kilmartin in her petition.