Talcum Powder Pushed on Black Women

Talcum Powder Pushed on Black Women

Overview

Johnson & Johnson Reportedly Pushed Talcum Powder on Black Women After White Women Cease Use Due to Cancer Risk

For most women, it’s a normal part of their hygienic routine to sprinkle a little baby powder on themselves or in their underwear. The self-care practice is a normal one, specifically for women in the African-American community.

A St. Louis woman named Jacqueline Fox did so for over 40 years, dusting the lining of her panties with talcum powder each morning. It wasn’t until 2013 that she was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer and learned that the baby powder she had been using for so long might be to blame, CNN.com reports. Fox lost her battle with the disease in October 2015.

Now, the New Jersey-based company Johnson & Johnson is embroiled in a number of lawsuits claiming their baby powder products, made with talcum powder, cause cancer. According to Rolling Out, about 20 recent medical studies have found a connection between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

The company lost its second lawsuit on May 2, 2016 for the death of another Black woman named Gloria Ristesund. In that case, the jury awarded $5 million in damages and $50 million in punitive damages, Rolling Out reports. Fox was the first plaintiff to be compensated for damages however, according to CNN.com. Following her death, a St. Louis jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to award her family $72 million.