Asbestos from Talcum Powder
A SHOCKING REVELATION
Asbestos is often associated with the workplace and construction sites, but unbeknownst to most, this toxic mineral has been hiding in plain sight. Believe it or not, many talcum powders (including cosmetic talc powder) contain this cancer-causing agent.
Talcum powder has been used for generations by men, women, and children as part of their daily hygiene routine. Intended as a refreshing product to use after bathing to keep smelling and feeling fresh, our clients have reported using it all over their bodies, even in their shoes to absorb moisture and odors. For decades, talcum powder has been marketed for use on babies and children to prevent rashes and chafing. Families have used it on infants for diapering throughout the day and on young children after bathing.
Alarmingly, this popular product that is stored in the vanities and cabinets of homes across the country, is not as innocent as it once seemed. Instead, commercial cosmetic talcum powder and talc-based baby powder has been shown to be a slow-acting killer.
WHAT IS TALC?
Pure 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 to talc miners; inevitably, talc deposits become subject to asbestos contamination. As a result, many talcum-based products that are used every day like baby powder, cosmetic beauty products, and deodorant, may contain asbestos.
WHAT DISEASES CAN BE CAUSED BY USING TALCUM POWDER?
Using talcum powder can be a messy process; often creating dust-like clouds, which leaves a residue on floors and countertops. The asbestos fibers in talcum powder are aerodynamic and stay airborne for hours at a time leaving users vulnerable to inhaling them again long after initial application. Even after the fibers have settled, they remain on surfaces of the home and easily recirculate back into the air when disturbed.
Over time, the inhalation of powder from these contaminated products allows asbestos fibers to penetrate and accumulate in the lining of the lungs and abdomen, leading to fatal cancers such as mesothelioma.
As evidenced by numerous studies, exposure to asbestos-contaminated talcum powder has also been shown to cause ovarian cancer. Use of talcum powder below-the-waist for personal hygiene allows the talc to become embedded in the ovarian tissue, ultimately causing cancerous tumors to form. Both the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society have deemed talc use near the genital area as a “risk factor” for ovarian cancer.
The most recognizable manufacturer of talcum powder products is Johnson & Johnson, known primarily for Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, as well as its Shower-to-Shower brand products.
According to an article published by Reuters, Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its Baby Powder contained asbestos but failed to warn its customers about the hazards of its asbestos-contaminated talcum powder. Instead, it decided to continue manufacturing the toxic product. Despite Johnson & Johnson’s denials, it has since voluntarily recalled one lot of its talcum powder after trace amounts of asbestos were detected in it and has announced that it is no longer distributing its infamous talcum-based Baby Powder in the United States and Canada.
Other talcum powder products that have been linked to asbestos include:
- Cashmere Bouquet
- Estee Lauder
- Gold Bond
- Jean Nate
HOLDING CORPORATIONS ACCOUNTABLE
Nationwide lawsuits against corporations like Johnson & Johnson have been successful. Juries have continually held Johnson & Johnson liable; finding that it knew of the increased risk of developing ovarian cancer and mesothelioma from use of its talcum powder yet failed to warn its customers accordingly.
Importantly, juries are making these corporations pay for their wrongdoing. After listening to the evidence, juries have time and time again awarded seven figures to plaintiffs who used Johnson & Johnson products. Verdicts against the corporation include:
$325 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Donna Olson
$117 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Stephen Lanzo
$40 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Nancy Cabibi
$29 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Teresa Leavitt
$25 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Joanne Anderson
$417 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Eva Echeverria
$110 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Lois Slemp
$72 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Jacqueline Fox
$70 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Deborah Giannecchin
$55 Million awarded to Plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund
Johnson & Johnson is now facing over 25,000 lawsuits nationwide related to its Johnson’s baby powder, talc containing cosmetics, and other cosmetic talc products.