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Attorney Jon O'Steen

Rio Tinto Sued With Johnson & Johnson Over Talcum Powder Cancer

Jonathan V. O'Steen

September 8, 2016

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New Orleans, Louisiana—A United Kingdom and Australia-based mining company, Rio Tinto Minerals, and its subsidiary, Luzenac America, have been sued along with Johnson & Johnson by four women and the husband of a fifth woman who died.  All five women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer between 2011 and 2015.  The women all used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower Powder as feminine hygiene products. 

The Louisiana lawsuits allege that all the corporate defendants have known for nearly forty years of the link between their products and an increased risk of ovarian cancer when they are used in the genital area.

The court filings further claim that the mining companies “supply customers with materials safety data sheets for talc [a soft mineral that, when crushed, becomes talcum powder].  These material safety data sheets are supposed to convey adequate health and warning information.”

Johnson & Johnson does not include cancer warnings on its talcum powder products, insisting that they are safe for use as cosmetic products. 

Rio Tinto sold Luzenac in 2011.

More than 2,000 lawsuits are pending in various U.S. Courts filed by women or their survivors who were diagnosed with reproductive cancers following use of talcum powder products.

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