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AAJ Commends House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy for Shining Light on the Danger of Carcinogenic Cosmetics

Victims, family members and experts attend hearing and testify about the prevalence of talc, which can cause cancer, in everyday items like baby powder and makeup.

March 12,2019

Washington, DC—Today, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy held a hearing on Capitol Hill to hear from a medical doctor, an asbestos expert, and the son of a woman who died of ovarian cancer, about the prevalence of talc within everyday consumer products such as baby powder. Subcommittee members and witnesses discussed the science linking talc to cancer, and the need for corporations like Johnson & Johnson to finally take steps to protect and educate American consumers who use their products that contain carcinogens.

“Today’s hearing is an important first step toward creating true public awareness about the dangerous products many of us currently have in our homes and use on our bodies,” said Linda Lipsen, CEO of the American Association for Justice. “For decades, corporations have gone to great lengths to keep these dangers hidden, but thanks to litigation and renewed efforts by this Congress, more Americans will understand both the danger of talc and also its prevalence in items many assumed were safe.”

One important conclusion reached at the hearing was the necessity for consumers to be warned that products they are using on their bodies may cause cancer. Marvin Salter, who lost his mother to ovarian cancer after a lifetime of using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, assured the Subcommittee that she would have stopped using the product had she known the risks.

Also testifying were Dr. Anne McTiernan, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group. In addition, dozens of individuals who have been impacted by carcinogenic cosmetic products were in attendance urging the Committee to take a hard look at the issue.

“Today was an important step and we commend the victims and families who traveled to Capitol Hill to make their voices heard. We urge Congress to further explore this pressing public-health hazard and pass legislation to properly label dangerous products,” concluded Lipsen.

Peter Knudsen
Phone: 202-944-2853