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Asbestos-Containing Talcum Powder and Risk for Asbestos Mesothelioma

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Lawsuits have been filed against some talc companies alleging talc powder contains asbestos and consumers were not adequately warned about the risk of asbestos in talc powder. Although home talcum products are supposed to be asbestos-free, there are concerns some talcum products still contain asbestos. Furthermore, it can take decades for exposure to asbestos products to result in mesothelioma and other illnesses, meaning people who were exposed in the 1970s may still be diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses.

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Talcum Powder

Talcum powder (also called talc) is powder made from talc, which contains a variety of minerals. It is used to absorb moisture, keep skin dry and prevent rashes. Many cosmetic products, including baby powder and facial powder, contain talc. Additionally, because it is so soft, talc is used in a variety of other products, including paints, papers, chalks, and ceramics.

Talc Asbestos

Some talc is tainted with asbestos because talc deposits are often found at the same sites that asbestos deposits are found. According to the American Cancer Society, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classifies talc that contains asbestos as carcinogenic to humans. The FDA considers it unacceptable for cosmetic talc to contain asbestos.

Talc Mesothelioma

talc_and_asbestosIn 1973, federal regulators banned companies from selling talcum products that contained asbestos. Although 40 years have passed since those laws were enacted, lawsuits concerning asbestos in talc are still being filed because mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer—all linked to asbestos exposure—can take decades to appear after asbestos exposure. There are also concerns that some cosmetic talc products still contain asbestos, putting younger women at risk of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

According to a study published in 2014 in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, at least one brand of talcum powder contained asbestos, which was released into the air during application. Investigators concluded that the woman in the study had inhaled asbestos fibers—including anthophyllite and tremolite asbestos fibers—from her use of talc powder.

Asbestos in Talc Lawsuits

In May 2015, Judith Winkel was awarded $12 million in her lawsuit against Colgate-Palmolive, which used to sell Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder. Winkel was diagnosed with mesothelioma and says she used Cashmere Bouquet from 1961 to 1976.

Other lawsuits have involved consumers who used talc products and employees who either mined or otherwise worked with talc that contained asbestos. According to Salon (9/13/15), Colgate has settled three more mesothelioma cases since Winkel's award was announced. Colgate has denied that its talc contains any asbestos.

According to the company's quarterly report (7/30/15), it faces 23 lawsuits in state and federal courts, including 11 that were filed since March 31, 2015.

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TALCUM POWDER LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

New Jersey Win for Johnson & Johnson and Los Angeles Mistrials in Asbestos –Mesothelioma Cancer Talc Trials
New Jersey Win for Johnson & Johnson and Los Angeles Mistrials in Asbestos –Mesothelioma Cancer Talc Trials
October 17, 2018
Los Angeles, CA Within two weeks of each other, two juries in California failed to reach a verdict on the same issues regarding asbestos-talc claims, resulting in two mistrials. Nine votes are needed for a verdict on claims that J&J was guilty of negligence, failure to warn about the risk of asbestos and marketing defective products. On Sept 24, the sixth J&J mesothelioma trial, the Los Angeles jury was deadlocked 8-4 against J&J – one juror short of victory for plaintiff Kirk Von Salzen. Bloomerg reported that Von Salzen, a retired computer salesman, had used J&J’s talcum powder for 30 years when he was diagnosed in 2017. He was seeking over $12m in damages. Despite the result, his attorney was “satisfied” that eight jurors ruled against J&J READ MORE

Talcum Cancer Lawsuit in California Based on Trust
Talcum Cancer Lawsuit in California Based on Trust
September 10, 2018
Los Angeles, CA: In the sixth talcum powder-cancer trial that began last month in California, Johnson & Johnson is accused of knowing its talcum powder contained asbestos, a carcinogen known to cause mesothelioma. Plaintiff Carolyn Weirick last year was diagnosed with the rare form of terminal cancer. She claims her illness was caused by using J&J’s baby powder READ MORE

J&J’s Talc Appeal – Lack of Scientific Evidence and Jurisdiction Argument
J&J’s Talc Appeal – Lack of Scientific Evidence and Jurisdiction Argument
July 30, 2018
St. Louis, MO: Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal the $4.69 billion verdict awarded on July 12 to 22 women and their families who alleged that ovarian cancer cases was caused by asbestos in the company’s baby powder, and that J&J failed to warn that its talcum powder raised the risk of ovarian cancer. Experts say that J&J will argue the verdict based on insufficient scientific evidence and jurisdiction. And this asbestos-talc case is one of about 9,000 that J&J is facing READ MORE
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