Johnson & Johnson (J&J), an American consumer goods company, has settled a suit brought by a woman with cancer for $1.5 million. She blames her illness on the use of talcum powder and brought the suit against J&& for that reason. The woman is 78 years old today and blames the regular use of baby powder provided by both J&J and the talcum supplier, Imerys, for her mesothelioma, a rate form of cancer.
The settlement agreed to on January 3 is the first case in which J&J has agreed to a payment. Nonetheless, the company claims to have made the payment without any admission of guilt. In all other cases, J&J continues to asset its rights and claims that the talcum powder it sells is asbestos-free and therefore completely safe to use.
The move by J&J at this particular time is noteworthy, since it has been accused for decades of knowing that its talcum products contained asbestos. In fact, talcum and asbestos are both minerals that appear in close proximity to each other in nature. The accusation was raised by the news agency Reuters. In response, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee of the U.S. Senate, Senator Edward Markey, asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the charges.
More than 11,700 suits against J&J are currently pending because of its talcum products. We have already reported on the topic in our blog entry, Talcum Power: U.S. Court Finds Against Johnson & Johnson. The Canadian government now considers the frequency of ovarian cancer and exposure to talc as proven.
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