Written by Brittany Graham
Produced for online by Molly Houseman
Johnson and Johnson has been ordered to pay $149 million to a woman in the United States who says she developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for more than 40 years.
It is not the first payout the company has made, after three other plaintiffs were awarded a total of $195 million for similar cases.
Johnson and Johnson continues to be under fire after another allegation of the popular baby powder product and its correlation to cancer.
In 2016, American woman Jacqueline Fox was awarded $97 million in damages after it was found her cancer may have been caused by her use of talcum powder.
While these cases are alarming, QIMR Berghofer Institute Cancer Causes and Care Group team head, Dr Susan Jordan, allayed fears, advising the use of talcum powder and its effect on ovarian cancer is only a correlation and not a direct cause.
“A study was done here 5-10 years ago that showed there is a small increase in risk of ovarian cancer associated with the use of talcum powder, but only in the genital region,” Dr Jordan says.
“Women who use it on their upper body had no increase in risk.”
Dr Jordan says given there is a small risk of ovarian cancer due to using talcum powder, it is best to use only when needed and not in the genital region.