How Is Talcum Powder Linked to Mesothelioma?
Nicole Winch | May 12, 2020
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, questions surrounding talc contamination of asbestos date back to the 1970s. Today, there are still concerns regarding the link between talc and cancers like mesothelioma.
The American Cancer Society states that talc tainted with asbestos is generally accepted as a cause of cancer, if the loose asbestos fibers are inhaled. However, there is little research or evidence supporting a person developing an illness from asbestos-free talc.
Many talc products that people use on an everyday basis do include traces of asbestos. Each time you use one of these products, you may have been put at risk of a deadly cancer.
Talc products have been a popular commercial item for decades — and talc remains a prominent ingredient in quite a few products. Many mesothelioma patients trace back their diagnosis to their use of these goods. Victims of this type of asbestos exposure have filed lawsuits — and continue to do so against the companies that manufacture talc-based products.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and have ever used talc items, such as baby powder, you may be eligible to file a claim. Contact one of our experienced attorneys to see how we can help you or your loved one receive the compensation you deserve.
What Is Talcum Powder?
Talc is a naturally occurring mineral found underneath the earth’s surface. This mineral is soft and known for its ability to absorb moisture and simultaneously provide lubrication.
For centuries, people have used talcum powder as a means to protect and dry their skin. Companies grind talc into a powder, called “talcum powder”, and use it as a primary ingredient in skin-softening or body-cleansing products. Talc is also a great caking agent, used to make face foundation look opaque and enhance a products overall appearance.
Talc and Mesothelioma
Unlike asbestos, talc is not proven as a carcinogen. However, talc can be found and mined near asbestos deposits. Therefore, talc is often naturally laced with toxic asbestos fibers.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that can form in the lining of either the lungs, abdomen or heart. The only known cause of this disease is from inhaling or swallowing sharp, loose asbestos fibers. Asbestos particles lodge into one of these linings and can become cancerous over time. This makes using talc products with asbestos unsafe at any level of exposure.
While it’s unsafe to use talc products with asbestos, it is often hard to know exactly what products will include the carcinogen. Many companies knew their products were contaminated and failed to warn consumers of the health risks.
Many people who used talcum based products, such as baby powder, for years are now being diagnosed with mesothelioma. The company Johnson & Johnson, a manufacturer of a popular talc-based baby powder, faces thousands of asbestos lawsuits from people who link the company’s products to developing mesothelioma. Although Johnson & Johnson rejects the claim that its products contain asbestos, documentation and studies show otherwise — and that the company neglected to warn consumers of any risks.
People who work with talc — such as miners, construction workers and factory workers — are also at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. A study of New York talc workers and miners concluded that inhaling talc ore dust could cause mesothelioma among these workers. Tests found asbestos fibers in the lungs of these workers.
What Products Contain Talc?
There are several products that contain talc on consumer- and industrial-grade levels. Where the talc is mined geologically can affect which products are contaminated with asbestos.
Below are some examples of common products that can easily be contaminated with asbestos. In many cases, there are reports of asbestos found in these items. For instance, a test of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder revealed fibers in a batch of the item. Another report revealed asbestos in a line of children’s toy makeup.
- Baby powder or shower powder
- Cosmetics (lipstick, mascara, foundation, blush, eye shadow and face powder)
- Children’s toy makeup
- Chewing gum
- Food processing
- Some vitamins and supplements
- Talcum used in barber shops
- Rubber gloves or surgical gloves
You may have used many of these products on a daily basis. If you have mesothelioma, any one of these products could be the root cause of your diagnosis.
At BCBH Law, our attorneys want to help you receive justice for your mesothelioma diagnosis. We know we cannot take away the pain or stress cancer has put on you and your family. However, we can help you get much-needed compensation.
Many patients and their loved ones are able to use mesothelioma compensation to help offset the costs of medical treatments, lost wages, funeral expenses and other unforeseen financial hardships. Fill out one of our free case evaluation forms to see what compensation options you may qualify for.
- TalcU.S. Food and Drug Administration Retrieved from: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/talc. Accessed: 05/11/20.
- Talcum Powder and CancerAmerican Cancer Society Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/talcum-powder-and-cancer.html. Accessed: 05/11/20.
- Talc in cosmetics and consumer productsCommonwealth of Massachusetts Retrieved from: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/talc-in-cosmetics-and-consumer-products#what-types-of-products-may-contain-talc?. Accessed: 05/11/20.
- Asbestos Found In Ten PowdersNew York Times Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/1976/03/10/archives/asbestos-found-in-ten-powders.html. Accessed: 05/11/20.
- California jury awards $29m to woman who said Johnson & Johnson talc caused mesotheliomaDyer, Owen.BMJ : British Medical Journal Retrieved from: https://search.proquest.com/openview/d6327afd15f61d117cdc4bbcc6354bcc/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2043523. Accessed: 05/11/20.
- Malignant mesothelioma incidence among talc miners and millers in New York StateNational Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22544543. Accessed: 05/11/20.