You may have heard something in the news about recent litigation against companies that manufactured and sold products containing talc. This litigation stems from claims that exposure to talc products leads to serious health problems, including mesothelioma.
Talc is a mineral found in the earth. It has a wide range of practical benefits. In personal care products, it is used to reduce irritation and absorb moisture. Industrial talc is effective for purifying water in wastewater treatment. In paints and glazes, talc improves texture and adhesion to surfaces. Household appliances, automotive parts, electric cables and switchboards, pottery, paper, and ink may all contain talc. Talc itself is not hazardous. However, talc is often found near another substance that can be dangerous: asbestos.
Asbestos minerals are heat and corrosion-resistant. When asbestos is broken up through mining or working with asbestos products, dust is created. Inhaling or swallowing asbestos dust fibers can lead to scarring of the lung tissue, mesothelioma, and other health complications.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue (mesothelium) lining the majority of your internal organs. Mesothelioma primarily affects the tissue surrounding the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), but in rarer cases, it can develop in the tissue of the abdomen and around the heart.
Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
Mesothelioma is both aggressive and incurable. It can take anywhere between 20 to 60 years after the initial exposure to asbestos for symptoms to occur.
As mentioned above, talc and asbestos are often found in close proximity to each other. During the mining process, talc can become contaminated with asbestos. It is very difficult to separate asbestos from contaminated talc deposits. That is why some talc-based products are linked to mesothelioma.
Many well-known companies source their talc from mines that are contaminated by asbestos. Sites have been identified in Alabama, New York, North Carolina, and Vermont. Tests conducted as recent as 2018 have uncovered asbestos-contaminated talcum powder in cosmetics and children’s toys.
Treatment options for mesothelioma caused by exposure to talc and other products containing asbestos include the following:
The outcome for individuals with mesothelioma depends on many variables. The prognosis depends on how early it is caught, how far it has progressed, the location of the disease, and the patient’s overall health.
Most people with mesothelioma live approximately four to 18 months from the time of diagnosis. Current survival rates are notably improved compared to those from 20 to 30 years ago. They should continue to improve as we learn more about this disease and develop more effective treatments.
Plaintiffs have already won millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts for asbestos claims. Johnson & Johnson and Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc. have already paid out large million-dollar verdicts to individuals who claim they developed mesothelioma after using their talc-based products.
However, beauty and hygiene products are not the only talc-based items cited in mesothelioma litigation. In 2017, a plaintiff sued and settled with several defendants after contracting cancer from working with ceramic tiles made with talc containing asbestos.
That same year, another plaintiff who used talc to make paint at work was awarded more than $22 million. Testimony presented at trial showed the company that supplied the talc attempted to dilute it to hide asbestos traces.
These are just a few of the many claims related to asbestos and mesothelioma. Despite all we know about the risks of talc containing asbestos today, people are still dealing with the after-effects of exposure that may have occurred decades ago.
Johnson & Johnson, Old Spice, Coty, and Colgate-Palmolive are just a few of the companies that have produced products containing asbestos-contaminated talcum powder. In fact, Johnson & Johnson agreed to stop selling talc-based powder globally in 2023.
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation to help cover the costs of medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering. Because people typically develop cancer symptoms decades after exposure to asbestos, these cases can be quite complex.
It is wise to choose a lawyer and a firm with experience representing clients with asbestos-related illnesses. They have the skills and knowledge to show the connection between contaminated talc products and the health problems you are currently experiencing. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer in your area to discuss your case, learn your rights, and pursue compensation for mesothelioma-related losses.
Our Philadelphia asbestos attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have been fighting for clients facing mesothelioma and other serious asbestos-related health problems for decades. Put our experience and skills to work for you. Call us at 215-569-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.