New questions about the safety of talc are arising out of a recent lawsuit. How could a product that is meant to be on the delicate skin of a baby be toxic enough to cause cancer? A jury thinks it shouldn't be and has awarded the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer $72 million in damages. While the science on talc use is inconclusive with some studies showing no risk in using it and other studies saying it's a possible carcinogen, the jury seemed swayed by testimony from a Johnson and Johnson medical consultant who compared the danger from talc to that of cigarettes.
Johnson and Johnson has issued a statement that the verdict goes against the current science and that they plan to appeal. This is only the first case of what is likely to be many more. About 1,000 plaintiffs have pending cases against the company for similar illnesses.