After Multiple Mesothelioma Lawsuits, Prop 65 Claim Filed Against Johnson & Johnson & Others

With new mesothelioma and ovarian cancers being filed every day against Johnson & Johnson and other talc product manufacturers, a new legal attack has been launched under California’s Prop65 law. A lawsuit has been filed accusing Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Gold Bond talc powder, manufacturers of generic talc products and retailers of failing to warn consumers of the cancer risk their products posed.

Prop 65 Passed to Protect Against Cancers Like Mesothelioma

When the California public voted to enact Proposition 65 in 1986, it took action to prevent exposure cancers like malignant mesothelioma. The law protects drinking water from contamination and requires companies to give notice when their products expose consumers to toxic chemicals that cause birth defects, reproductive harm or cancer. 

Asbestos is included on the list of items covered by Prop 65, and following thousands of diagnoses of malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, advocates have filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing cosmetic talc companies of producing and selling products that they knew contained asbestos without giving consumers warning.

Mesothelioma Advocates Say Talc Manufacturer Actions Misled Consumers

In addition to arguing that asbestos in talc-based cosmetic products led to mesothelioma and ovarian cancer in consumers, the filing alleges that the talc used in these products was reformulated in a way that introduced other toxins, including arsenic, lead and hexavalent chromium. Speaking of the importance of the case, one stakeholder said, “The defendants, who represent brands trusted by millions of consumers, have to be held accountable for causing so much harm and putting so many more people at risk.”

The suit names Johnson & Johnson, retailers CVS Health Corporation, Target Corporation, Walgreen Co., Walmart, and Dollar General, all of which sell generic brands of talc-based powder products. It also names the companies that supply the retailers those products, as well as Sanofi SA and Bausch Health Companies, which manufacturer Gold Bond Powder. The suit is asking for Prop 65 labels to be added to several products, as well as for restitution and civil penalties of $2,500 per day for each violation. It also proposes an alternative of replacing talc in baby powder products with cornstarch.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you believe that it was caused by exposure to a talc-based product, we can help. Contact the Patient Advocates at at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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