If you’re anything like me, talc will be one beauty item you’ve probably not used since your mum or grandma introduced you to the white powdery stuff all those years ago. You probably associate the stuff with wholesome, comforting family times designed to care for and protect you. It’s talc. What could possibly be wrong with it?
For most of us, cancer scares and multi-million dollar lawsuits don’t even come into the equation. Why would we associate the one thing that reminds us of cosy childhood baths with the scariest disease facing mankind today?
Well, it all starts with a woman called Jackie Fox. In 2016, Fox’s family won a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, a well known company that uses talc in its skincare products. A jury in Missouri decided that Fox’s family should be awarded compensation for not making the link between talc use and ovarian cancer clearer to the general public.
Fox used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, two of the company’s talc-based products, for more than 35 years before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013. She eventually died from the disease in 2015. The judge eventually ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay Fox’s family $72 million in damages, and an estimated 1,200 more lawsuits are about to be brought against the company from American customers over the next few years.