Johnson & Johnson faces $417m payout in recent talc case

J&J baby powder Symbol copyright Getty Photographs Symbol caption Johnson & Johnson stated the protection of talc was once supported by way of decades of clinical evidence

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $417m (£323.4m) to a girl who says she advanced ovarian cancer after the use of merchandise akin to baby powder.

The California jury’s choice marks the most important award but in a string of proceedings that claim the firm did not competently warn about cancer dangers from talc-based totally products.

A spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson defended the products’ safety.

The firm plans to appeal, as it has in earlier instances.

“we will be able to attraction trendy verdict as a result of we’re guided through the technology,” Carol Goodrich, spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson Shopper Inc, stated in a press release.

Analysis: James Gallagher, health editor, BBC news website

Is talc protected?

There had been considerations for years that using talcum powder, particularly on the genitals, might build up the danger of ovarian most cancers.

but the proof isn’t conclusive. The International Company for Research on Most Cancers classifies talc used on the genitals as “in all probability carcinogenic” on account of the mixed evidence.

Why is there any debate?

The mineral talc in its natural form does contain asbestos and does lead to cancer, then again, asbestos-loose talc has been utilized in child powder and different cosmetics because the 1970s. but the research on asbestos-unfastened talc provide contradictory results.

It has been associated with a most cancers chance in some studies, but there are issues that the research could also be biased as they often rely on folks remembering how a lot talc they used years ago. Other studies have argued there may be no hyperlink in any respect and there is no hyperlink among talc in contraceptives corresponding to diaphragms and condoms (which would be with regards to the ovaries) and most cancers.

Additionally there doesn’t appear to be a “dose-response” for talc, unlike with recognized cancer agents like tobacco the place the extra you smoke, the higher the risk of lung cancer.

What should girls do?

The charity Ovacome says there is no definitive evidence and that the worst-case state of affairs is that using talc will increase the risk of most cancers through a third.

However it adds: “Ovarian most cancers is a unprecedented illness, and extending a small risk by a 3rd nonetheless offers a small chance. So although talc does increase the risk reasonably, very few women who use talc will ever get ovarian most cancers.”

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