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Jury Awards More Than $70M to Woman In Baby Powder Lawsuit

A California woman, who believes Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused her ovarian cancer, has been awarded $70 million, the Associated Press reports. About 2,000 women have filed similar suits, although Johnson & Johnson — which is appealing the verdict — denies that their talc can cause cancer.

In 2008, I warned women to cease using talcum powder. I noted there were several studies showing that applying it to the genital area might raise a woman's risk of ovarian cancer if the powder particles were to travel up through her vagina and get lodged in her ovaries. Later, we learned that at least 20 studies showed the possible link between the talc and cancer.

Nearly 13,000 chemicals are used in cosmetics, of which only an estimated 10 percent have been evaluated for safety. Many do not realize that cosmetics can be brought to market without having to undergo an approval process. Unfortunately, this process allows dangerous ingredients in lots of everyday products — a situation in which Johnson & Johnson has been caught before, with its baby products.

Five years ago, it was brought to light that the company’s baby shampoo sold in the U.S. contained two hazardous ingredients — 1,4-dioxane and quaternium-15. The revelation sparked The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to urge a boycott against the company until it removed the ingredients and, after several years of pressure from consumer advocates, J&J finally removed these dangerous ingredients from its baby shampoo in 2014.

If you would like to reduce your chemical exposures through personal hygiene products, the Environmental Group has a great database that can help you find safer products. You can also make your own, quite easily and organically.
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