A Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine case study revealed significant proof that individuals exposed to talcum powder tainted with asbestos are at risk for mesothelioma. This deadly cancer is found in tissue that lines internal organs. There have been thousands of cases initiated by plaintiffs against companies that sell products with talcum powder, and this study could affect many of their outcomes.
Both asbestos and talc are naturally occurring minerals found underground. Asbestos is fibrous and carcinogenic, and talc is found in clay. Veins of asbestos can be found within talc deposits, which is where the problem starts. Manufacturers are not supposed to use talc with detectable asbestos levels.
Thirty-three individuals with malignant mesothelioma participated in the study, and their only significant asbestos exposure was from talcum powder. Six participants went through tissue testing that indicated the presence of asbestos found in cosmetic talc.
For many years, corporate giant Johnson & Johnson has been facing charges that their baby powder causes cancer. Although they maintain that their powder is safe, there have been large awards given to plaintiffs:
There were also several verdicts that were in Johnson & Johnson’s favor, including a Missouri appeals court that overturned a $110 million verdict against them.
A Rutgers Law School professor agreed that the study is compelling but is unsure about how effective it will be for court cases. He said that it is hard to apply the details of a small study to the larger population. He feels that it is a step in the right direction, but there is more work to be done. Either way, researchers hope that it will raise awareness for individuals that used the powder and advise consumers to be careful with any products that they use in the future.
Johnson & Johnson announced that they were voluntarily recalling a single lot of their baby powder. This happened after the Food and Drug Administration reported sub-trace levels of asbestos contamination in a bottle of baby powder bought online. The company stated that their response was made with extra caution, and their talc is safe.
Facing cancer is even more difficult when its cause could have been prevented, and the Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 215-569-4000 or complete our online form. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.