Asbestos in Baby Powder
For decades, companies continued to manufacture and sell talc-based baby powder products despite knowing its potential to be contaminated with asbestos- a known carcinogen. Shockingly, these products are most often marketed for use on infants and children. Sadly, the health problems caused by exposure to asbestos often take years- even decades- to appear and are often fatal by the time they are diagnosed.
Why does baby powder contain asbestos?
The main ingredient in many baby powders is talc- commonly referred to as talcum powder. Talc, like asbestos, is a naturally occurring mineral that comes from the ground. These minerals are often found so close to one another that they become inseparable; inevitably, talc becomes contaminated with asbestos. As a result, many talcum-based products that are used every day like baby powder, cosmetic beauty products, and deodorant, may contain asbestos.
What kinds of baby powder contain asbestos?
Any baby powder or cosmetic powder product that contains talc as an ingredient is likely to also contain asbestos fibers. Many talc-based products on the market today- even those designed specifically for use on infants and children- contain detectable amounts of asbestos. Because asbestos fibers are impossible to see or smell, it cannot be readily determined which products may contain asbestos.
What companies have asbestos in their baby powder?
Many companies over the years have sold talc-based powders that have been shown to contain asbestos. Below are just a few commonly found on the market:
- Personal Care
- Perfect Purity
- My Fair Baby
- Angel of Mine
By far, the most well-known is Johnson & Johnson who continued to sell its talcum powder products for decades after discovering that it contained asbestos.
Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder: Legal Battles
Johnson & Johnson has become the most well-known company associated with talcum powder-related health risks because they were, and remain to this day, the largest manufacturer of baby powder in the world. In 2020, after years of mounting litigation and pressure from victims of asbestos exposure and the public at large, Johnson & Johnson finally decided to replace the talc in its baby powder with cornstarch. This sordid legal history reveals how Johnson & Johnson, and many other companies, put profits over the health of their loyal customers.
Asbestos was first found in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder as early as the mid-1950s, and trace amounts of asbestos have been found in their talc powders as recently as the 21st century. Unfortunately, this means that its products have caused health issues that are likely still undiscovered.
What health problems are associated with using baby powder containing asbestos?
There are numerous health issues associated with asbestos in talcum powder. These include, but are not limited to:
- Ovarian cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pleural thickening
Health problems that develop as a result of exposure to asbestos can take decades to appear and are often completely life altering or even fatal. In fact, most cases of mesothelioma- a particularly aggressive cancer of the lungs- are terminal by the time a patient has identified the symptoms and received a diagnosis.
Who is at risk of asbestos exposure?
Many different types of people are at risk of asbestos exposure from baby powder and other talcum-based products. While babies, children, and their parents who used baby powder are the first victims that come to mind, there are other groups at risk including the workers who mined the talc itself from talc deposits. Long hours in talc mines with poor ventilation creates a dangerous environment for them to inhale the asbestos fibers.
Could I be at risk?
If you regularly used baby powder or other talc-based products on your child, yourself, or had it used on you as a child, you could be at risk for asbestos exposure and should contact your doctor if you experience any symptoms.
If this applies to you or anyone you know, contact us for a free legal consultation to see if you may be eligible for financial compensation.