FairWarining Investigates

Talc-Ovarian Cancer Link Sparks Growing Legal Battle

Deane Berg

Deane Berg, who filed a first-of-its kind lawsuit blaming her ovarian cancer on Johnson & Johnson talc powders

Deane Berg’s doctor called her in the day after Christmas, 2006, to give her the crushing news. She’d had her ovaries removed, the pathology results were back, and they could not have been much worse.  Berg had stage III ovarian cancer, and her prognosis was poor.

Despite her 25 years as a physician’s assistant, Berg, then 49, knew next to nothing about ovarian cancer. Grappling with the “why me?” question, she studied the risk factors, finding just one that could apply: regular use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene.

Johnson & Johnson's Shower to Shower Morning FreshTalc powder might be a cause ovarian cancer–who knew? It turned out that some people did. Berg was stunned to learn that since the early 1980s, a slew of studies had found that women who regularly used talc powder for feminine hygiene had higher than average rates of ovarian cancer. Yet the evidence–which fell short of proving causation–was mostly confined to medical journals and had barely made a blip on the public radar.

For millions of women, Berg included, dusting the genitals or underwear with powder was a daily ritual, like brushing teeth. Since her teens, Berg had used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, another Johnson & Johnson powder marketed to women. “A sprinkle a day keeps odor away,” the ads said. “Your body perspires in more places than just under your arms.”

How could a product meant for babies be dangerous? “This is crazy,” Berg recalled thinking. “Why aren’t they warning women about it?”

So after painful rounds of chemotherapy, Berg filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against J&J in federal court in her home town of Sioux Falls, S.D. A mystifying verdict in October, 2013, enabled both sides to declare victory. The jury found Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos., guilty of negligence for failing to warn of the risk of ovarian cancer, but awarded zero damages to Berg. More on this later.

Yet the case brought a slow-building controversy to a head. Plaintiff lawyers, heartened by a liability finding in arch-conservative South Dakota, have since brought claims for about 700 ovarian cancer victims or their survivors, blaming the disease on exposure to talc powder. More cases are in the pipeline. Along with J&J, the suits name Imerys Talc America, Inc., part of the global mining concern that supplies talc to J&J. Other marketers of talc powder and the Personal Care Products Council, a Washington, D.C. trade group for cosmetics makers, are named in some of the cases.

Reaction to this story:
Living on Earth

Lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson contend that women contracted ovarian cancer from using its talc powders for feminine hygiene. The company says there is no causal connection.

“We use this on children … and it had to be a good thing, right?” said plaintiff Deborah Giannecchini, 62, a Modesto,  Calif., hospital secretary diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer in November 2012.

“This is an ugly disease,” she told FairWarning. “I sure would have appreciated being given the chance to say this is worth the risk or it isn’t.”

In J&J, “we’re dealing with a company that has done nothing to inform customers of the risk and, in fact, I believe has taken steps to hide the risk from the public,” said Ted Meadows, a lawyer with the Montgomery, Ala., firm of Beasley, Allen, which is involved in many of the cases.

Imerys and the Personal Care Products Council wouldn’t comment, and J&J refused interview requests, but released a statement: “We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers who rely on our products. It is important for consumers to know that the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence and independent peer-reviewed studies.”

The companies contend that statistical associations between talc use and ovarian cancer are weak, and may result from bias in the study methods. A causal link is not biologically plausible, they say, since there is no proof that talc particles can pass through the genital tract to the ovaries or that, once there, they could cause malignant growths. There is no causal link, they argue, so warnings were unnecessary.

Most of the lawsuits have been filed in New Jersey, where J&J is headquartered, or in state court in St. Louis, Mo., considered a favorable venue for plaintiffs. The first trials are scheduled for early 2016.

About 20,000 U.S. women annually are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more than 14,000 die. Ovarian cancer strikes about one woman in 70. Studies showing a higher rate of the disease with talc use have typically found an increased risk of about 35 percent—which would put the odds at about one in 50.

Photo of Deborah Giannecchini

“This is an ugly disease. I sure would have appreciated being given the chance to say this is worth the risk or it isn’t.”
– Deborah Giannecchini, ovarian cancer victim and plaintiff in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson

Talc, the softest of minerals, has a multitude of industrial and consumer product uses, including in the manufacture of paints, paper, rubber, roofing and ceramic materials, and even as a food additive, a filler in capsules and pills and in cosmetics.

Complicating the health question is that talc deposits are often interlaced with other minerals, including asbestos. That means the danger, if any, may be due to impurities, rather than talc itself.  Over the years, some groups of talc miners have been stricken with  asbestos diseases. Talc suppliers have also paid settlements or judgments to factory workers, such as tire makers, who contracted asbestos-related illnesses following exposure to  industrial grade talc.

In 1976, researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York published test results on 20 talc-based consumer products, including baby and facial powders. They found two types of asbestos, tremolite and  anthophyllite, in 10 of the 20 products.

That same year, the Personal Care Products Council (then called the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association) issued a standard requiring “a complete absence of detectable asbestos in cosmetic talc.”

J&J vows that its talc is “asbestos free, as confirmed by regular testing conducted since the 1970s.” The ovarian cancer suits take the claim at face value, asserting that talc itself, not impurities, caused the disease.

The suits charge J&J with failing to take the precaution of replacing talc with cornstarch, which has similar skin-soothing properties but has not been linked to health risks. While defending the safety of talc, J&J has offered powders with cornstarch or cornstarch-talc blends.

Johnson & Johnson logo

“We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers … It is important for consumers to know that the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence and independent peer-reviewed studies.”
– Statement by Johnson & Johnson

In October 2012, for reasons neither company would discuss, J&J sold North American  marketing rights to Shower to Shower to Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

“Inaccurate, to phrase it euphemistically”

Suspicions about talc and ovarian cancer go back decades. In 1971, British researchers analyzed 13 ovarian tumors under a microscope and found talc particles ‘’deeply embedded” in 10.

In 1982, the journal Cancer published the first  study showing a statistical link between genital talc use and ovarian cancer. Soon after, lead author Dr. Daniel Cramer, a gynecologist and Harvard Medical School professor, was visited by a senior scientist from J&J. He “spent his time trying to convince me that talc use was a harmless habit,” Cramer recalled in a document filed in court, “while I spent my time trying to persuade him … that women should be advised of this potential risk.”

Photo of Deane Berg

“This is crazy. Why aren’t they warning women about it?”
– Deane Berg

Altogether, about 20 epidemiological studies have found increased rates of ovarian cancer risk for women using talc for hygiene purposes, though some studies have found no association. One report, published by Cramer and several co-authors in 1999,  said talc use could be the cause of about 10 percent of ovarian cancers in the U.S.–or some 2,000 cases per year. “Balanced against what are primarily aesthetic reasons for using talc in genital hygiene, the risk benefit decision is not complex,” the study said. “Appropriate warnings should be provided to women about the potential risks of regular use of talc in the genital area.”

In response to such findings, the Cancer Prevention Coalition, an advocacy group, asked the Food and Drug Administration in 1994 to require warnings against talc use for genital hygiene. The agency said it lacked evidence to require warnings, and J&J refused to issue them voluntarily.

Instead, the company and its allies circled the wagons. In 1992, the cosmetic and fragrance association launched a Talc Interested Party Task Force to develop talking points and find experts to rebut studies linking talc to ovarian cancer.

But some statements by the trade group were “inaccurate, to phrase it euphemistically,” a consultant for J&J warned. In two 1997 letters to company officials (here and here), toxicologist Alfred P. Wehner attacked statements that “the scientific evidence did not demonstrate any real association between talc use in consumer products and ovarian tumors.”

“There are at least 9 epidemiological studies published in the professional literature describing a statistically significant (albeit weak) association between hygienic talc use and ovarian cancer,” Wehner wrote.

timeline“Anybody who denies this risks that the talc industry will be perceived by the public like it perceives the cigarette industry: denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary. This would be a particularly tragic misperception in view of the fact that the industry does have powerful, valid arguments to support its position.”

“Arrogance and insolence”

As debate continued in scientific circles, the National Toxicology Program, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ruled in 2005 that existing data were insufficient to list talc as a cancer-causing agent.

The following year, however, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, classified talc as a 2B agent–“possibly carcinogenic to human beings,”–based on the “remarkably consistent” results of epidemiological studies. “A positive association was observed,” IARC said, “but chance, bias or confounding factors cannot be ruled out with reasonable confidence.”

Industry officials have downplayed the significance of the IARC action, noting that coffee drinking is also listed 2B for possible links to bladder cancer. But emails produced in the Berg case show industry officials were deeply upset by the IARC ruling.

A senior executive with J&J talc supplier Luzenac America (now known as Imerys), condemned the decision as “a travesty of scientific integrity.”

Rich Zazenski, Luzenac’s director of environment and safety, declared in the Feb. 27, 2006 email to a J&J official: “I can’t believe the arrogance and insolence of this ‘U.N. agency.'”

“Rest assured, we (I) will explore all possible avenues of challenge—not necessarily expecting a retraction—but to see what sort of political heat (with financial ramifications) that could and should be brought down upon IARC and WHO,” the email said. Zazenski died in 2008, and it’s uncertain if there was an effort to carry out the threat.

In 2013, the industry cheered the findings of an expert panel of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, a group that is funded by cosmetics manufacturers but says its reviews are independent.  The panel declared that talc “is safe in the present practices of use and concentration.”

A coveted image

J&J was founded in the 1880s by the brothers Robert Wood, James Wood and Edward Mead Johnson. First aid kits, dental floss, sanitary napkins and baby powder were among their first products.  Today, J&J is a $74 billion-a-year colossus with a workforce of nearly 129,000, more than 275 operating companies in over 60 countries, and a huge footprint in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, along with consumer health aids.

Yet the Johnson & Johnson name still evokes cherubic infants and adoring moms, burnishing an image that most big companies can only envy. Fortune Magazine’s 2015 list of most admired companies ranks J&J first in the pharmaceutical industry and 11th of 668 companies worldwide. In December, the website CareerBliss.com, ranked J&J number one on its list of the 50 Happiest Companies in America, which honors businesses with the most contented workers.

Johnson & Johnson baby powder
J&J last  year won kudos for vowing to share clinical trial data with researchers, and for announcing it was testing an Ebola vaccine.  In December, a 3 1/2 minute  infomercial with singer-actor Jennifer Hudson on ABC’s “The View” touted one of J&J’s charitable endeavors.

“What a great company they are!” enthused Rosie O’Donnell, then co-host of The View. “They’re a wonderful company that America’s believed in for so long.”

Legal battles that have engulfed the company leave a different impression, however.

Last month, J&J’s McNeil Consumer Health Care division pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of selling adulterated medicines, including children’s Tylenol and Motrin that were contaminated with bits of metal. The plea deal with the Justice Department, which included a criminal fine and forfeitures of $25 million, capped a series of recalls and enforcement actions stemming from quality control breakdowns at McNeil’s Fort Washington, Pa., plant.

In November 2013, J&J and two subsidiaries, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Scios, Inc., agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion to the U.S. and 45 states to settle criminal and civil charges of illegally promoting Risperdal and other anti-psychotic drugs for unapproved uses. They had also been accused of paying kickbacks to doctors and a major pharmacy to prescribe the drugs. As part of the settlement, Janssen pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor. J&J settled the remaining civil allegations without admitting wrongdoing.

The same month, J&J’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit announced an agreement to pay about $2.5 billion to compensate 8,000 patients  who had surgery to replace allegedly defective DePuy hip joints. Earlier this year, the company reached a similar settlement with another 1,400 patients–yet it still faces thousands of injury claims related to the DePuy implants.

By J&J’s count, at the end of 2014 it faced 56,300 personal injury claims in the U.S. involving three product lines: hip implants, Risperdal and pelvic mesh devices made by its Ethicon Inc. subsidiary.

Photo of Ted Meadows

“We’re dealing with a company that has done nothing to inform customers of the risk and … I believe has taken steps to hide the risk.”
– Attorney Ted Meadows

The talc litigation, on the other hand, wasn’t even get mentioned in J&J’s 2014 annual report. Still, the challenge has not been taken lightly. J&J has retained as lead counsel the firm of Shook, Hardy and Bacon, a go-to corporate defender that has represented tobacco companies, drug and auto makers in high-stakes litigation.

In this together

Deane Berg recalls her sense of shock and dread when she heard her diagnosis. Both she and her husband Jim broke down and wept.

She got chemotherapy through a port in her chest. It was painful, nauseating—”to put it point blank, holy hell … It put my family through a lot, too,” Berg said. Her first husband had died of lung cancer from smoking, and her two daughters now feared they would lose their mom, too. One called Berg from college every day to make sure she was all right.

“Once you get a cancer diagnosis … it never goes away,” Berg said. “There’s always that ultimate fear that it’s going to come back.” So far it hasn’t. Berg eventually returned to work as a physician’s assistant at the VA hospital in Sioux Falls. She figures her ordeal has made her better at the job.

“It has definitely taught me how important it is to take time with cancer patients, to give them concern and caring, and to say ‘I know what you’re going through,” she said in an interview. “I give them a hug and say we’re in this together.”

In studying the risk factors that might have led to her cancer, Berg mostly came up empty. Family history of ovarian cancer? No. Previous cancers? No. Mutations in the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes? No. Use of fertility drugs; never having been pregnant; eating a high-fat diet—no, no and no. But some literature cited another possibility–genital use of talc.

Berg posted a question on the website of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, asking if anyone had used talc and contracted ovarian cancer. Soon she was contacted by a Mississippi lawyer named Allen Smith. After checking him out “to make sure he was legit,” Berg said, she authorized Smith to order an analysis of her tumor tissue. Talc particles were found inside. Explaining her decision to file a lawsuit, Berg told FairWarning: “I don’t want other women to suffer like I did if this could be prevented.”

Her case was tried in fall 2013. Medical experts for J&J dismissed the idea that talc caused her cancer as biologically implausible. They explained the discovery of talc particles in the tumor tissue as probably due to contamination, a common problem in hospitals. Berg’s lawyers sought to discredit the defense experts as hired guns, noting that two had testified on behalf of tobacco companies.

In its head-scratching verdict, the jury found the J&J subsidiary, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos., Inc., guilty of negligence for failing to warn Berg of the ovarian cancer risk. Though she had suffered losses—months of lost work time, permanent hearing loss and numbness in her hands and feet from chemotherapy; and the endless fear of her cancer coming back–the jury awarded no damages.

Berg said her lawyers were “dumbfounded,” and that she attributed the result to South Dakota being “a very conservative state.”

It tempers her anger to consider the big picture. “I’m lucky to be alive—really, really lucky,” she said. “I count my lucky stars, let’s put it that way, that I’m not gone.”

Contacted by FairWarning, jury foreperson Christina Wilcox explained the compromise verdict. Jurors decided that “the actual medical proof [that talc caused Berg’s cancer] was not there,” she said. “She [Berg] just got handed a bad deal.”

“However, we also felt that Johnson and Johnson should consider putting…something on the product to alert the consumers of the possible injury and the possible risk,” Wilcox said. “Let the consumer decide what they want to do.”

Print Print  

About the author

Myron Levin is editor of FairWarning.

114 comments to “Talc-Ovarian Cancer Link Sparks Growing Legal Battle”

  1. Allison Joiner

    Yes I used this product for years and I had all kinds of menstrual problems went to obgyn and they diagnosed me with overian and cervical cancer and first had an imblasion didn’t stop and at 34 years old had to have partial hysterectomy

  2. sam

    Exactly,how are you going to prove a certain ailment was caused by this or any other product over 40, 50, 60 years of use and not by, let’s say, eating too much corn on the cob !!!

  3. Wesline Elien

    I have been using these products every since I can remember, I have 3 kids my first one is 14 years old, and I used on all of my children plus I used them on myself. I can’t imagine what I have been doing to my family. God only knows! I know one thing now is that , I will never use these products again.

  4. Karen Campbell

    I have used those products for years and now I see why I have dealt with not 1 but 2 bouts of cancer. It was devastating to loose my female organs because of powder. I wanted a child but that was taken away thanks to that product. Why did they not inform the public what it could do to you? There arejust to many story’s like mine, and when will they stop ?

  5. Maria Longsworth

    I am 52 years old and I grew up using J&J powder through all my childhood, and as an adult used the shower to shower as well. I have had issues feminine issues on and off along with many procedures to alleviate the issues. I just had surgery about six months ago And of my ovaries were removed with everything else.

    This concerns me because My children too have been exposed to these products because it was part of staple tradition we carried throughout.

    I have a cousin who is currently going through radiation for ovarian cancer. They need to be stopped!!! We trusted this company with our loved ones.

  6. Joanne Greco

    I have used. It’s products throughout my life my family members as well we used it to get the sand off us at the beach both products as well as after shower or just on hot days

  7. Susan benson

    I have used it for many many many years did not know there was any danger only news and it

  8. Michael McCollum

    Me , my Great aunt and grandmother have used it in the past. In fact my Great aunt has some right now as I’m writing this.

  9. Kim Gurkin

    I’ve used Johnson and Johnson baby powder for years. I’ve had abnormal paps and UTI’s. So far, by the grace of GOD, nothing serious.

  10. Laura

    I’m dealing with that now a Pelvic Cyst bigger than a grape fruit n size last diagnosed in 2013 . ( need surgery ) And back a few years also 1998 aprox . when I had lazer surgery for PreCervical Cancer @ 9 o’clock , 10 & 12 o’clock . I used all 3 products J & J , Shower to Shower & Baby Powder .

  11. Gregory Ricks

    This is ashame!!!

  12. jean crawford

    I have used johnson baby powder all of my life. used it on my daughter and granddaughter. I have had infections as well and abnormal paps and such. I’m not as sick as some of these wonderful people but I am very alarmed.

  13. Latanya Moore

    My baby still uses this omg

  14. vanessa James

    I have used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder in the past, as well as Shower to Shower, and I would be very interested in being part of a litigation and/or financial recovery due to the use of these very products. Please keep me informed of the progress concerning this situation.

  15. Bethani Wagner

    About 10 yrs ago I had to have my cervix and uterus removed,tested positive caught in time. Worst thing I had to go through always,always sick no matter what

  16. Luzy Aguirre

    En mi familia lo hemos usado toda la vida aquí y en nuestro país y nunca se oyó nada raro o malo sobre este producto que parecía tan inofensivo que se utilizaba para los niños

  17. Robert Haynes

    Hi Team I have used the product a lot as a child & as and adult threw out my lifetime.

  18. Patsy Martin

    Yes I have used j&j for 30years I suffered from chronic pain in my ovaries, back, and legs, I have bleeding that have lasted for 8-10 days, I have UTI’s every 2 weeks with discomfort in my pelvic, it just hurted so bad, that I had to see a gynecologist who told me I had fibroids really bad pressing on my ovaries and that I needed surgery really bad. Surgery was done on 11/2012. But I still have severe pain, Uti’s and bleeding out my bladders to infection, in which the Dr. Still cannot find out why

  19. lisa gurule

    I too have been using jj talc powder and and my surgery in 1992

  20. Gloria A. Benton

    I used johnson baby powder for
    a time.
    I am now 65 years old. This July i will be 66 years old; how ever i have some Fibroids approximately 40 years old and i am bleeding internally i have cysts on my liver, in March, i will have a Colonoscopy to see why i am looseing blood.
    I pray i don’t receive a bad diagnosis.

  21. Debra Willis

    I have used Johnson and Johnson powder for a very long time. I won’t be using again.

  22. Belinda Rader

    I have used talc for years. I no longer use it, but could this be why I had so many UTI ‘s & other problems as a teenager? I had to have my cervix froze & multiple tests run on my cervix through the years. I’m 48 & still have problems to this day.

  23. Rose Fields

    I used most of these products since I was a child. I developed fibroid rumors had surgery and they came right back. I was very sick. Don’t know if j&j products were the cause but I could of died.

  24. Debbie K Taylor

    My mother used baby power and she died jan 31 1999 from ovarian cancer i had no idea that baby power could cause ovarian cancer.

  25. Maldonado

    I used powder since elementary school. By the time I was 18 years old I had cysts already. With no chance of ever becoming a mother. Till this day I suffer from cysts in my ovaries. When I start my monthly it’s even more painful. To much loss of blood also. I’ve been check and it’s all cysts in my ovaries.

  26. Patricia Flanders

    My Boyfriend took Levaquin and had severe side affects from it . Made by the same company I believe. How do they get away with this stuff? Why can’t they make medication without any side affects ?

  27. Mary P Garcia

    Cancer is a horrible thing to go through!! But to know that someone could have prevented people from getting sick or dying to say the very least all the suffering people have and are going through.. . and did not do something about it .. Is murder or attempted murder. I hope( Do onto others..What you would want done to you) for all involved !! I’ve had a complete hysterectomy 2015. @46 yrs old. And didn’t know if I was going to be incontinent or not when I came out of surgery and yes I use Johnson & Johnson

  28. Delfia Sandoval

    Put me in i used both the j&j shower to shower talc & the j&j baby powder as well since 2005 i have a very painful ovarian cyst that i’ve had till finally 1 of the emergency room doctor’s did a scope & diagnosed the ovarion cyst in 2012 & he said i will need to follow up with a gynacologist just in case but it should disolve on its own that we’d have to keep an eye on it & my insurance was terminated at that time & the pain continues to get worse, so i went to emergency room again & they did another scope in 2015 i told them about the cyst was diagnosed in 2012 but still have not tested it?! doctors say oh its not seriuos but how do they know if they have not tested it for cancer or as a tumor they just been saying its a cyst it should disolve on its own?! I said in 2012 the doctor said that same thing but at least he was more concerned at that time….But its now 2017?!… Im worried as i been having excruciating pain in my cervix & abdomen i been using the talc since 2005 & cancer dont run in my family!………. So please put me in…..its in medical records
    Thank you.

  29. Trisha Davis

    My mom had been using Johnson & Johnson talcum powered and body wash for years. I remember itching and scratching but didn’t know that was the cause for sure, That why I had been dealing with chafing, itching and infections over and over for years. Going to my doctor things it was jock itch being prescribed all sorts prescription for year’s also thinking i had a UTI’S or just sweat from workouts. When I heard of it causing cancer I stopped using the product about a year ago. I still have some of the product in my home not for use but for proof. For years I’ve tortured by this product as well as my siblings. This so sad.

  30. Becky Brooks

    I’ve had a lot of problems with cyst on my ovaries and endometriosis. I did not have the money or insurance for them to keep doing exploratory surgeries.

  31. Dylene T Mose

    I’ve been using Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder and feminine powder since I was in elementary because I would sweat more then the average person. And just wondering was my cycst and abnormalities down there like urinary tract infections due to this product. That’s really scary. My mother on the other has been using it all her life she was the reason I used it. And she was hospitalized and had to have surgery a couple of years ago. I’ve seen commercials but never really thought of it. And now my mother, my 3 daughters 8, 5 and 3 and myself has discontinued using all j&j products. Thanks for advising me please inform me on how to get help on this serious matter please really in need.

  32. Jacquelyn Ford

    I used it for years once heard about it I stop using it

  33. Jason cowan

    I have been using baby powder for years on my body for workout purposes. Please let me know if I have a claim.

  34. Fredia

    Yes I use it. I grew up using this!

  35. Michele

    How do I file for my problems and be compensated? I’ve had to have a complete hysterectomy in my 40’s because of this. I’ve also had ovarian cancer back when I was only 16 (I believe; I may have been 18). Regardless, what am I supposed to do? Just add a “comment?!” This can’t be the right way and I don’t want to tell everyone everything that happened to me. All over J&J products. What’s wrong with this picture?!

  36. Jessica baker

    This is not OK how could they just keep getting away with this I had no ideal my mom had ovarian cancer and had to have her ovaries took out I have had problems as well such as miscarriage and skin irritation it’s not fair I’m only 33 yrs old and my mother had her surgery in her late 30’s

  37. Trishcelia Banks

    MY name is Trishcelia Banks and have been using shower to shower for over 20years I get a cyst on my vagina like once a month a lump. Do I have a claim for this situation?

  38. Zerephia McDonald

    My baby s is Zerephia McDonald, I love and have used Johnson&Johnson baby powder on my chest and underneath my breast due to sweating, I have noted rashes underneath my breast area after a day at work. I also became aware of several cases of ovarian cancer that thus product have caused so at this time I will no longer be using this product.

  39. Judy Cammann

    I have use theTalc for most of my adult life … in about 1998 I had a complete hysterectomy plus overlies … no problems found. I’ve continued to use the J J Talc is there other cancers to be aware off?

  40. MaryGrace Goldsmith

    I Have an Aunt Who Passed Away From Ovarian Cancer in 1993. She Was Using Shower to Shower. I Have Currently Been Using Johnson’s Baby Powder with Camomile & Lavender to Lull Baby Girl to Sleep. I Was Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in 2013 with High Levels of Developing Ovarian Cancer. What a Shame. I Can’t Believe It’s Impact on The Lives of Women.

  41. Maxine Ann Holmes

    I used Johnson and Johnson all the time I had to have ovaries taken out at 29 and hysterectomy at 28 don’t know if that was because I used powder all the time .it would be interesting to know would like to be informed more about it and what has to be done

  42. Jimmy Lee Ramsey

    Yes I have used Johnson & Johnsons baby powder for over 55 yrs, I am so scared.

  43. Michelle Vanpijkeren

    I had a mesh recall have been waiting 4 yrs now nothing yet for settlement. I try to get info and all I get is that Johnson & Johnson is being sued for this now. I’m sorry but I’ve had 3 surgeries now and now I have urinary incontinance and problems with bowels can’t even push. Please I also had ovaries on left side removed and have cyst on right side now I also used shower to shower too growing up until my 30s. I wish settlements would be dealt with one problem first and then go on to another suit it’s not right. Patiently waiting in Michigan.

  44. Jose Rodriguez

    Yes I did use baby powder on my back and now I have a big rash and gets red

  45. Rose Fields

    I used all those products in the 1970s. I had and hv fibroid tumors

  46. Anne Mitti

    I have used Johnson & Johnson baby powder my whole life. As my mom had done since I was a baby. And I also used it on my two children.I am 53 years old and love the stuff.it makes me sad that this is happening.

  47. Huey l Ellis jr

    I don’t like the idea of not informing the people who used their products on babies kids family and self knowing full well the dangers my mother used j&j products to her death and was never made aware of its dangers .
    Huey l Ellis jr

  48. Denise Riley

    I used j&j my entire life as adultfor remind hygiene..over 40 yrs..had to have a complete hysterectomy around 7 R’s ago. I have also use it in my business as hair stylist for over 30 yrs.a s a hair remover on the neck of client…they have just found spots on my lungs..not sure if any studies have been done on stylist that used this product. It is worth looking into.

  49. Donnw

    I have been using these products in the same way these women did. I started using shower to shower at 13 because my grandmother said it would keep me fresh. As an adult I began using baby powder. Johnson & Johnson.. I am having lots of problems. As my mom. Says, ” female problems”. I have periods. I don’t think it’s periods. I bleed for weeks sometimes for an entire month. As of today I’ve been bleeding for 5 weeks. There is something wrong. I can’t afford to see a good OBGYN. I have NO idea what I’m going to do. Well I do know I will NOT use baby powder in my panties ever again. How do these companies do things lime this to us & ALWAYS get away with it? How can they know the dangers of these products & not inform the customers? This is WRONG!!!!!!!

  50. Cassandra Owens

    Ive used the product plus the various fragrances of th3 brand. I went to 9B/G6N regularly. No issue!! Anr i was a frequent user!! In 1999 after birthing a set of twins; i had my tubes removed ovaries and all associated with all down there!! I couldn’t AFFOrD Any more children and did the most responsble choice. I reckon i dodged that!÷

  51. Isabella Edwards

    I’ve used shower to shower for years and just received this e-mail but had seen the news about talc so I stopped using I didn’t know who to contact thanks for the information

  52. Mary M Blake

    I’ve used these products for years. Had used them on my daughter. I’ve had a couple of cysts on my ovaries..got problems now with my uterus. My daughter has problems with her monthly periods. I hope these are not due to a company we’ve trusted for years. Let us know where to go from here. Thanks

  53. Sherrina Ss Smith

    I been using shower to shower for years please let me know if I have a claim

  54. Lucy

    Been using J&J baby powder on myself all my life. My mom did too. So far I’m ok. We all will die of something. I hope like most it’s not from something seemenly innocent as a childhood product and at this point it’s highly unlikely unless there is prof that this talc is the same product found in the tumors or if it’s another source. It’s an interesting find but what else is in tumors? Do we know what chemicals make them grow? I recently read SUGAR. Studies show that a diet low in sugar or processed foods with sugars reduces the size of tumors. I just think there is a lot of hope knowing that lite to why people may be getting cancer is being probbed, but to make such a big claim just because everyone else is seems a little perinoid. I would need to see more studies . Just saying. Good luck . Lucy

  55. Kimberly wren

    I’ve used this baby powder for years since I’ve been in high school. I did have 2 cysts removed in my ovarian area. This is terrible

  56. Spencer Orozco

    Hello ladies and gentes,
    Ive been using j and j baby powder since i was a kid so that i wouldnt sweat down their. I have asthma, ive had abses below my stomach, ive had other things as welll, that i had to be hospitalized for, so i dont know if ill be entitled to a lawsuit, please email back and let me know and i hope other familys dont go through what we all have gone through.

  57. Margaret E. Billsborough.

    I perspire a lot so I used to place Johnson and Johnson on my breast and vaginal area. After years of use of shower to shower talc powder, Johnson and Johnson baby powder. I had took a mammogram test and discovered that I had an abnormal lump in the right breast that needs immediate treatment. My name is Margaret E. Billsborough.

  58. Lisa Inman

    I have a terratoma tumor on one ovary.caused internal hemmorhage 3days in hospital and 3mos ill.the loose blood on my abdomine infected other organs.so I now must have complete hysterectomy.I used baby powder for many years after shower in my underwear.in non malignant with potential to develope into malignancy.does baby powder have history of creating terratoma tumors? Anyone?

  59. Daniel McFadden

    Yes my wife and I have use this product for many years but stop when we heard about the problems it cause I we have had skin problem and I still do I pray for my wife that her problem is no worse than we have been told so pray for us

  60. Nakiyta Wilkerson

    My name is Nakiyta my?is similar to the lady cassie,but my right side tube was remove in 2008

  61. Troy Pack

    You say all this info, but no contact. My late wife had to have her ovaries seared in ’95 or ’96 because of compilation. Then in Dec. ‘.06 had surgery for colon blockage and died in Jan of ’07 from being full of inoperable surgery. Go figure!!!!! There is no rhyme or reason for this. I’M about to give it up. You other folks take care of yourselfs.

  62. Dennis Gnirk

    Iv’e used that baby powder on myself and my sons for years. I have medical issues with my kidneys starting in 1998 I dont smoke or drink or do drugs. So I’m wondering, could baby powder be to blame? I’m worryed about my son’s and their health. I also have cronic migraines that started over 40 years ago.

  63. Glen

    Mother died in 1998 from this she had the cancer and i remember her using it all the time the grandparents tolled them as they were younger to use this product after they come out off the shower and has been for a long time thank you Johnson and Johnson for killing my mother

  64. Juanita Hardy

    It’s so sad because I’ve used this product for years and now my doctor is telling me that my pain and issues could be coming from ovarian cancer.

  65. Elaine L Weldy

    Could this have been the culprit of my staph infections in my abdomen? Since I am overweight, I was using baby powder, and deodorant by J&J to stop me from sweating uncomfortably during work. Please let me know.

  66. Esther Harris

    I told my niece don’t use the powder on her baby.

  67. Sheree

    I have worked in nursing home’s since 1984.I would buy Every day shower to shower and Johnson baby powder for ALL my patients to put on there backs and bottoms to have them feel fresh. Also many patients bought it for themselves and had me put it between legs. My concern was I inhaled it every night i worked. I have ashma now and I have tightness of chest. I’m concerned that I got this from inhaling the powder. I also have year round stuffed nose

  68. Karen Braxton Moore

    I use to use By Powder in my underwear and all over my body after I showered. I had to have a complete hysterectomy done in 2012 but I can not tell you if I had ovarian cancer or not.

  69. Johnny Lupe Chavez

    I used all of the Johnson & Johnson Products all my life for the past 53 years. My Mother used these Products on her self and Father and my Brothers and Sister and my exwife and present wife we used them on our children. I am now finding out these products have the POTENTIAL OF HAVING LETHAL CHEMICALS THAT CAN KILL US IN OUR LATER YEARS. WHAT IS OUR GOVERNMENT DOING TO PROTECT US. HELP!!!! HELP!!! HELP!!! THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NEED TO HELP US.

  70. Lorraina

    MY mother has had all of her. Female parts removed and she has used there products her entireifehow do I find out if they are responsible for her cervical cancer

  71. Jean Thorne

    I have a very large cyst that covers my ovaries and I have no insurance to have it removed. I used baby powder for most of my adulthood. I need help.

  72. Jacqueline bell

    I have been using shower to shower powder for 17 years.

  73. Solomon E. Brannan

    I have use shower to shower for the pass 15 years I pray that I am ok

  74. Linda sue wilmesher

    Use the powder but don’t know w if that is why I had to have them remove years ago will check it out

  75. DEBRA Moore

    I have used the products all my adult life and in 2007 I had to have a partial hysterectomy and it’s not a good life realizing that you cannot even bear children at all at this point

  76. Karen Anderson

    I have used these products for years. I had a tumor on an ovary fir which I had to have a hystorctomy. Then I got breast cancer. I believe that there is a link between breast cancer and talc. I have used talc in my bra for years to keep dry. The talc must be able to travel through the nipplecinto the breast tissue thus causing breast cancer.

  77. Rosemary Chatham

    Deane Berg – You are my Hero! <3
    Forty years of daily use of J&J Shower to Shower and/or Johnson's Baby Powder for personal hygiene have given me FOUR different kinds of cancer diagnoses since 2009 beginning with a particularly aggressive form of Endometrial Cancer. I am FURIOUS that Johnson and Johnson KNEW of this risk since at least the 1970s and did NOTHING to warn us of this risk. For further information which includes why the American Cancer Society will NOT stand up for us, please see my Facebook Page at:

    A Special Thank You to Deane Berg for leading the way on this! God Bless You, Deane!

  78. JJacquez

    Ohh no I been using baby powders on my two siblings for years , Its a shame to put their life’s in danger!!!

  79. Madeline Morales

    I have used J&J and Shower to Shower for years just to smell good in those areas I have had many uraniry tract infections and now rectal problems that may be caused by these products. How do we go about filling papers to join this lawsuit I’m 73 and would like to live a lot more years to see my grandchildren grow to adulthood Thank you for all your great work your doing to help us that are unknowledgeable learn more thanks again

  80. Tina Drayton

    Oh my goodness I’ve used bby powder and shower to shower powder ever since I was 13 putting it in my panties and my buttocks for freshness bcuz I sweat a lot I’ve been diagnosed as being at high risk of ovarian cancer I’ve had Pap smears with abnormal cells I do have a cyst on my ovaries which is very painfull not sure but I believe it’s a fibroid I’ve also been diagnosed with hpv I hope I don’t have cancer my paps are so painfull I don’t go get them that speculum hurts like hell my daughter as well used powder allll Tha time my mom put it on her as a baby in her pamper and as she grew up she used it all Tha time as well both of us has had a slew of infections I kno due to this please respond back to me with more info on what I need to do about this matter thank you and God bless

  81. Portia James

    I have used J&J baby powder and Shower to Shower from the early 70’s. I had a myomectomy in the early 80’s for fibroid tumors. Then in 1987 I had a hysterectomy for the return of fibroid tumors and excessive menstrual bleeding. I used these product the entire time and was not aware of these finding until now.

  82. Susan Murphy

    I used shower to shower when i was younger and had to have a complete hysterectomy at age 39, not sure if related to this but sure sounds like it now.
    My daughter who is 22 has been having all kinds of issues and i always used J & J on her when she was younger and she still uses today. Will be letting her know about this.
    Definitely at me.
    Thank you

  83. Angela Lucero

    I’ve used this on my baby for the last three years.

  84. Dannie jakes

    I have had fibroids and a hysterectomy I have been using baby powder for 49 year

  85. Charlene Terry

    I started with small fibroid, which lead to surgery at the age of 30, a mother of 3 and my youngest was 5. The surgery finding was a large mass on left ovary and multiple tumors in my abdomen.M y experience with the J&J was used as a little girl not to mention using that product would bring about an enormous change in my life and my children.
    Thank God for allowing me to live to see my children to become productive adults when doctor’s stated a woman with that type of ovarian cancer life span is one year.
    That 5 year old daughter will be 40 soon.

  86. Kim skellern

    My best friend had always used the shower to shower products , starting as a teenager to keep smelling fresh, she went thru bottles of the stuff, I know when she was 18 she did have ovarian cancer, and never had children, later in as she got older she was diagnosed with colon rectal cancer , with a soft ball size mass , she passed away in April 2014, her mother and myself wonder if this was caused buy the use of the powder, her dr,s did tell her with having the ovarian cancer as a young adult it could have been liked to the colon rectal cancer! Just wanted to make people aware

  87. Any johnson

    I’ve used this product for over twenty years. I now have chrome a disease which has made my life very hard . Even trying to work I have a lot of complications

  88. L Sweigard

    I still have Shower to Shower powder and Johnson and Johnson baby powder bottles from decades ago with some powder still in them. I am curious if any of the powder contains asbestos. Where would I send samples to determine if they contain asbestos?

  89. Kimes Parrish

    Yes I use this product quite often on myself and my kids

  90. Rose Gonzalz

    I’ve had a lot of yeast infection and didn’t know what caused it but now I thing useing body powder may of been the cause of it to come on. I’ve use powders all the time to help take away smell.

  91. Dorothy Eatchel

    I would like to find out how viable a case of ovarin cancer from 1999 that resulted in death is. Also, my mother (who passed from ovarian cancer in Jan 1999) used j&j talcum powder on me as a baby and child, and I continued using it into my early 30’s. How likely is it that the talc time bomb is ticking away inside of me?
    Please let me know.

  92. Karen Newman

    I’m interested in what steps we need to take . I always used the baby powder for myself and my children .my 16 yr old daughter is being treated at this time for ovarian cyst .

  93. Patricia Henslee

    I had surgery for Ovarian Cancer in 1972. I was 19 yrs old. My left Ovary was removed. The Right Ovary was destroyed with 16 Cobalt Treatments, that’s Radiation. I was a virgin. And I’ve never been pregnant. I am a mess because if this.
    My Mom bought to Shower and Johnsons Baby powder all time and I used it daily.
    I contacted an attorney just about 3 mobths ago, that when I saw this on a commercial. I had no idea if this before.
    I was told that my case was too old. I’ve aalo tried to acquire my medical records from the hospital where I had the surgery. They have been destroyed without being put on microfiche. At St. Francis Memorial they’ve also been destroyed without microfiche. Kauser Hospital is the only hope of finding these records because they go back to the beginning of a hospital and everything is microfiched.
    I need some help here, please

  94. Gwen E. Shafer

    I had a hytetectomy and had several lymph nodes removed. And yes I used Johnson and Johnson Baby powder. It was 2/18/15. That I had. The surgery. Then in march 3/23/15. I had 6 months of chemotherapy. 4/13/16. I just had 7 weeks of. Radiation.I no longer use Johnson and Johnson. Baby powder. Back in1987. To.1989 I used it to smell good

  95. Michael Andrews

    My kids and i have used that… So put us on….

  96. JLS

    Is there any evidence of talc powders causing other ovarian problems?

  97. Melissa Kennedy

    Please put me in I use Johnson and Johnson on my kids all the time.

  98. carlie mccoy

    I had a tumor had a hysterectomy at the age of 36

  99. Cassie

    I use the johnson shower to shower products every day, but in 2008, I had endometriosis, infected left Philippian tube and cysts on my overies. So of course I had surgery. Do I have a case?

    Thank you,

  100. Calvatina Hampton

    My daughter uses this product…she suffers from chronic BV.

  101. barbara williams

    Had to have partial hysterectomy in 2000? Next year had to have ovaries removed due large cysts. Use J&J powder and products during that time.

  102. Sheila Epley

    I’m curious about this because I used both products for years, shower to shower and Johnson n Johnson baby powder.
    I had to have a hysterectomy in 2008 due to several surgeries for overian and tubular cysts.
    I suffered for over 20 years with cysts and surgeries.
    Please respond as soon as possible.
    Thanks you
    Sheila Epley

  103. Myrlie Coleman

    I have been using this product for many years now i see why i broke out on my backside. Thank you for warning me.

  104. John Haynes

    I did not know baby but it does that put me in the lawsuit I use plenty of that

  105. janet ellis

    Does that mean having a small cysts in your ovaries count to

  106. Sammie Lee Nevels

    I’ve been using it for over fourty five years now

  107. Robin Christian

    People really need to start taking more responsibility for themselves. ALL products made in this country are toxic to the human body. Read the labels and understand what you are using. If you don’t understand the ingredients, you can be sure your body does not know how to process/eliminate it.

  108. Jane Brown

    I’m a 60 you who contracted Uterine CA in October 2015. I had to go in on first part of November and have my tubes, ovaruies, Uterus, cervix, and part of my abdomen removed… Oh, and 47 lymph nodes were removed. The surgery took almost 5 hrs. I have always been healthy. I’m about 20 lbs over weight (not good), I don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke, I rarely drink caffeine (NO coffee, occasional soda) . I exercise and keep pretty healthy. Have my whole life. I have used Shower to Shower every day of my life for 35 or more years. The phone call that I had cancer came as such a shock! Do you think that this cancer could be related to the use of Shower to Shower? I’m trying to get my life back in order since my surgery. Having to undergo treatments and exams every few months. This has really altered my life. Could THIS be related to the talc as well? Who do I contact to find out more information about this? Who is the law firm heading this program? Would love to talk more about this. Thanks.

  109. Sari

    This story shows the problems we have in several areas, and how we need to adopt the precautionary principle, rather than doing what we are doing, trying to get the EU to dump their wise precaution and adopt the US innocent until proven guilty system via trade laws (irreversible)

    It shows how unjust the US’s current “innocent until proven guilty” system is now, given the knowlege we have about cumulative insults caused by various products, containing substances of all kinds.

    The wisdom of precaution and the potential for huge damage awards when it comes out that many industry players kew of the health risks caused by problems, is probably why the US is fighting for TTIP, which attempts to freeze environmental and chemical regs in dozens of countries, including our own. That will make changing the mess we are in intentionally very difficult, by design.

    The situation with asbestos is quite similar to the problems with some emerging nanomaterials. Its an especially good analogy because asbestos “behaves like nanomaterials” because it is a nanofiber. (The body attempts to remove it but because of its shape- much thinner than it is long, the macrophage cells cannot phagocytose it. Thats called “frustrated phagocytosis”.) *This may mean a ticking time bomb of health problems for many American communities because of use of rubber from tires, which apparently may contain carbon nanotubes.*

    Yes, I am serious.

    If indeed that is the case, and that problem exists, we need to recognize things like that as “takings” in the legal sense, because they are using up a quite finite, irreplaceable resource, the body’s repair capacity and causing systemic inflammation in a way similar to the way endotoxin or LPS, the classic pyrogen does.

    People interested in what the real cost of our failure to act on these kinds of issues should read the technical literature on environmental causes of disease and how they act – by means of what pathways. Its been increasingly obvious that many health problems can be caused by chemically diverse toxicants acting on the same endpoints.

    Literally thousands of chemically diverse toxicants (or more likely, their additive combination) can cause oxidative stress. Its a real challenge explaining a process like the one described in “Chemically diverse toxicants converge on Fyn and c-Cbl to disrupt precursor cell function.” PLoS Biol. 2007 Feb;5(2):e35 to laypeople.


    How would you explain this? We need to do it because under the innocent until proven guilty system, we need to show that these individual takings add up and there is a huge economic cost.

  110. Mary Lafrance

    They are notorious for producing products with toxic ingredients: artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose) .that cano cause migraines, seisures, allergic reactions. Johnson’s baby shampoo contains dioxane and formaldehyde. They produced an antibiotic called Levaquin that has severe side affects such as chronic bronchitis, urinary tract infections, Kideny infection, pneumonia.

  111. sandra kirkpatrick

    After reading the article I notified my daughter to look at using corn starch on her baby after diaper changing rather than talc. I wish you would investigate and do a story on the current class 2 prescription drug debacle. If ever there was a cause looking for a champion that’s got to be it. Channel 12 news here recently did a story on it. Physicians routinely refuse to see people because they simply do not want to be hassled by the feds. And just try to get a prescription filled. I was told at my local CVS I would need to try to build a relationship with the pharmacist in order to get him to fill the prescription from my physician.

  112. finola fegan

    I would be really interested to know what you make of brush on sun blocks..these are formulated with titanium dioxide which is used in the lab the user has to wear a mask…how is it legitimate to be able to dust it on then as a brush on sunprotective product??what do you think? ive been trying to find out about this because it seems like a good easy to use product but not if it has lethal potential….

Leave a comment