Demand Johnson & Johnson add an ovarian cancer warning label to talcum powder products

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!


The Issue

More than 40 years ago, scientists identified a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Despite these findings, Johnson & Johnson continues to deny a harrowing fact: the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Specifically advertised for women to apply to their genital region and onto their babies, the company’s family-friendly ads aim to obliterate any accusation that their product is unsafe. In fact, one of their better-known slogans describes the products as “the kindest powder in the world.”

The truth, however, is not so kind. Currently, Johnson & Johnson faces more than 11,700 claims that its baby powder causes cancer. Following media reports of internal documents indicating company knowledge of the dangers of their powder, thousands of plaintiffs now accuse J&J of hiding the cancer risk to protect their business.

The Data

In 1971, The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the British Commonwealth published research that found talcum particles “deeply embedded” in 10 of 13 ovarian tumors. In 1982, the link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer was statistically proven and published as fact in the medical journal, Cancer.

Since then, multiple studies have identified a connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The research has emerged from organizations and publications like Obstetrics & Gynecology, The National Toxicology Program, Jersey Journal, American Journal of Epidemiology and Health Canada.

Since 1994, the Cancer Prevention Coalition has requested consumer labels warning users about the link between talc and cancer. No warning labels were granted.

As recently as this year, Reproductive Sciences published findings of the link between genital use of talcum powder and increased ovarian cancer risk at a molecular level.

One of the major issues with the research is whether or not the association is "statistically significant" enough. Johnson & Johnson can try to poke holes in the data, but we believe the facts speak for themselves.

Why We Need Your Help

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20,000 U.S. women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. An estimated 14,000 of them will die from it.

Researchers estimate that talcum powder could be the cause of about 10 percent of ovarian cancer cases in the United States. This issue may also potentially impact childrens' health as asbestos has been found in talc-based cosmetics sold at Claire's and Justice as recently as 2017.

Unfortunately, gaining federal regulation on talcum powder is no simple task. Since talcum products are classified as cosmetics, they technically aren’t subject to FDA review. The FDA allows the manufacturer to test their products before introducing them to market, making it the manufacturer’s responsibility to properly warn consumers and label products as safe for use.

Despite this obstacle, juries have awarded plaintiffs significant settlements in recent years. In July 2018, a group of women was awarded $4.7 billion after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a consequence of the asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's baby powder and other talc products.

These legislative victories have generated attention surrounding the risks of talc products, but resolution of the issue will require widespread effort to yield increased transparency from Johnson & Johnson.

We fight for adequate warning labels so that consumers may be aware of the health risks they’re exposed to when using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products. Let the consumer decide. 

*Editor’s note: Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder product has also been linked to a rare and aggressive cancer called mesothelioma, caused by asbestos contamination.

Make Your Voice Heard 

Take a stand for all the victims and their loved ones who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer caused by the use of talcum powder. Please join us in demanding that Johnson & Johnson add warning labels to their talcum powder products.