Talcum Powder Pleural Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Even though talcum powder was declared “asbestos-free” in the 1970s, some talc may still be contaminated with asbestos and may cause mesothelioma. People who were diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma after using talc products may be filing talc pleural mesothelioma lawsuits.

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Talc Pleural Mesothelioma Lawsuit Overview

talcum powder pleural mesothelioma lawsuit

Talcum powder has been linked to the development of cancer and if contaminated with asbestos may cause a different type of rare and deadly cancer, mesothelioma. Asbestos-laden talc that becomes airborne, may enter the body and lodge in the lungs to cause pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of mesothelioma.

Talc-related pleural mesothelioma may be caused by exposure while working in certain industries like manufacturing, and industrial workers who use talc, but may also be caused by use of talcum powder consumer products. People who were exposed to asbestos in talcum powder body care or cosmetic products or who were exposed while at work in certain talc-using industries may be considering talc pleural mesothelioma lawsuits.

Asbestos Talc Contamination

Talc is a mineral that is mined from the earth and is often found in similar locations, next to asbestos deposits. Talcum powder is a refined form of talc, that is used as lubricant or absorbent.

Talc has historically been used in personal care and baby products along with cosmetics. Health officials and regulators consider talcum powder products to be safe for consumer use, however, use of talcum powder has been linked to ovarian cancer and other types of health disorder. Talcum powder which has been contaminated with asbestos may expose the user to risk of mesothelioma.

Though asbestos has been banned from talcum powder products since the 1970s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require consumer product manufacturers to perform routine testing to ensure products are asbestos free. Within the past several years, asbestos has been found in makeup products which contain talc, including some types of “play” makeup marketed towards children.

Lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson for cancer caused by talcum powder products, but some studies have proposed a link between long-term talc use or exposure and mesothelioma, though no confirmation has been shown. People who have used talcum powder and were diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma have filed lawsuits against talcum powder manufacturers.

What is Mesothelioma and Pleural Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive, rare malignant cancer that  is considered fatal but takes years to develop. Mesothelioma occurs when asbestos causes tumors to grow in the “mesothelium” layer of tissue which surrounds the lungs, abdomen or heart. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma and accounts for about 80% of all mesothelioma cases.

Mesothelioma types:

  • Pleural mesothelioma – tumors in the mesothelial layer inside of the chest cavity, surrounding lungs or pleura
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma – tumors in the mesothelial layer which lines the abdominal cavity or peritoneum
  • Pericardial mesothelioma – tumors in the mesothelial layer of the or sac surrounding the heart or pericardium

Mesothelioma occurs when needle-like fibers of asbestos become lodged in the mesothelial tissue lining. They are not easily removed and over a number of years may cause tissues to become inflamed and tumor formation. Once mesothelioma tumors develops, the cancer generally considered fatal

Mesothelioma may take 10, 20, 50 years or more to develop. Because mesothelioma has such a long latency period, people who were exposed to asbestos before it was banned in consumer products may be just now finding out they have mesothelioma.

Talcum Powder and Mesothelioma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration required that talcum powder products be asbestos-free in the 1970s, but they cannot guarantee that today’s talcum powder products do not contain asbestos. In 2009 and 2010, the agency tested a number of talcum powder samples and no asbestos was found, but they acknowledged that only four suppliers provided samples and stated that the results of the study could not prove that all  talc-containing products are free of asbestos, only that those tested were not asbestos contaminated.

A number of consumer and healthcare products have historically been made with talcum powder, the most famous of which is Johnson’s Baby Powder. Johnson & Johnson no longer uses talc in their products and has chosen to substitute with corn starch but some products still contain the mineral. Most shiny or shimmer-type makeup has may still use talc to improve appearance and texture. Talc-based products which have been contaminated with asbestos may expose the user to mesothelioma. Talc-asbestos exposure may also occur in people who work in the cosmetics or beauty industry in manufacturing or client care.

Exposure to talc contaminated with asbestos may also occur in industrial settings. Industrial formulations of talcum powder are used to make a variety of products including paper, paint, plastics, rubber and even pharmaceuticals. Talc is also used in other industries such as wastewater plants to purify water, along with asbestos-contaminated talc in mines and factories which may have exposed workers.

Asbestos Contamination in Makeup Containing Talc

In the 1970s, a Mount Sinai Hospital report had revealed that 10 of 19 talc-containing consumer products also contained asbestos.

Products included:

  • Cashmere Bouquet Body Talc
  • Coty Airspun Face Powder
  • Yardley Invisible Talc
  • Yardley Black Label Baby Powder
  • Bauer & Black Baby Talc
  • English Leather After Shave Talc
  • Faberge Brut Talc
  • Mennen Shave Talc
  • Rosemary Talc
  • ZBT Baby Powder with Baby Oil

Asbestos was banned in many consumer products in the 1970s and all products containing talc should have been asbestos free after that point but in 2018, a report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) showed that declaring a ban on asbestos is not always adequate. The report showed that that nine make-up-type products sold by Claire’s fashion accessory retailer, were contaminated with asbestos. The Claire’s company recalled the products but denied the report and later filed for bankruptcy in the same year.

Also, in 2018, retailer “Justice” was forced to recall eight products from their “Just Shine” makeup line intended for tween girls due to asbestos contamination. USPIRG reported that they had also  tested makeup products by several well-known companies including Cover Girl and L’Oréal and did not find asbestos contamination, showing that manufacturing practices in certain demographics may increase the risk for lower levels of quality control.

Talcum Powder Pleural Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson and other talcum product manufacturers have already faced a number of ovarian cancer lawsuits filed by women or families of those who claim that Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower powder caused their cancer. Though the lawsuits are separate, some people who have been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma have also filed lawsuits against talcum powder manufacturers.

Pleural mesothelioma talc lawsuits claim that the manufacturers knew their talc products were contaminated with asbestos but continued to sell them anyway. At least one multi-million-dollar judgement has already been awarded in favor of the victim. In April of 2018, a New Jersey man and his wife were awarded $117 million by a jury after he claimed that talcum powder in Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower powder had caused his pleural mesothelioma.

People who used talcum powder products which may have been contaminated with asbestos and were diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma should seek legal assistance. Past medical injury and product liability lawsuits have resulted in compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical costs, loss of consortium and wrongful death if the person has died.

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