Talc contains asbestos
An aggressive disease, mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that attacks the mesothelial lining that surrounds the lungs, abdomen and heart. This form of cancer develops from asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a mineral substance that has been widely used in industry and construction because of its strength and resistance to fire. A majority of people who have contracted this disease were exposed at work in such industries as manufacturing, construction, shipyards, plumbing and others. Recently, however, a link between cancer of the mesothelial lining has been linked to the use of talcum powder that contained asbestos. The Lovely Law Firm is currently investigating potential personal injury and wrongful death claims from victims who have developed cancer to mesothelial tissue (mesothelioma) or ovarian cancer after using Johnson and Johnson talcum powder.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of six different minerals that occur naturally. These minerals are fibrous and resist electricity, heat and fire. Asbestos has long been used in many different products and industries because of these qualities. For example, it was frequently used to make siding, insulation and brake lining. Unfortunately, the tiny fibers that comprise asbestos can easily become airborne. When these fibers are inhaled, they can attach to the lining of your lungs and other areas of your body. Over time, the presence of these fibers can lead to inflammation and can cause asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma.
What is the link between cancer of the mesothelial tissue and talc?
Talc is a clay mineral that is used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and soap as well as to make industrial lubricants. While talcum powder is generally deemed to be harmless, its deposits are often found in locations near to a type of asbestos called tremolite. While this type of asbestos has not been commercially mined, it is also fibrous like the other forms of asbestos. When talc is mined, it can be contaminated with tremolite. Talcum powder that contains tremolite asbestos can release the tiny fibers into the air when it is used and may cause cancer of the mesothelial lining.
In 1973, federal laws that prohibited commercial talcum powder that contained asbestos were enacted. Before then, many women used talcum powder on a regular basis for personal care. Even though talcum powder is now tested for the presence of asbestos, miners are still occasionally exposed to it. In 2000, for example, a Virginia talcum powder mine was found to contain tremolite. While people engaged in talcum powder mining operations likely have the greatest risk of developing mesothelial tissue cancer, those who regularly used the powder before 1973 also have a heightened risk.
Potentially affected occupations
People who work in certain types of jobs use talcum powder for many different reasons. These workers are at a higher risk of developing cancer from inhaling asbestos that might be contained in the powder. The occupations that contain high risks of asbestos exposure from talcum powder include the following:
- Millers of talcum powder
- Makeup artists
- Hairdressers and barbers
- Factory workers
In addition to occupational injuries, women who use contaminated talcum powder in their bathrooms, which are enclosed spaces, have a higher risk of asbestos exposure because there may be a higher concentration of the fibers in the room.
Notable Talcum Powder Litigation cases
In 2017, a 63-year-old woman who had used talcum powder for years on her perineum and subsequently developed ovarian cancer was awarded $417 million in her lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson. The Los Angeles woman argued that her cancer was caused by the talcum powder that she used.
In April 2018, a jury awarded a New Jersey man and his wife a total of $117 million in a lawsuit that the couple filed against Johnson and Johnson. The man had used talcum powder for more than 30 years and contracted mesothelioma. As a banker, the man’s exposure did not come from his job. The award included $80 million in punitive damages.
A number of other cases have been settled for millions of dollars. Most have not gone to trial and have instead ended in settlements. There are multiple cases that are currently pending in courts around the country involving people who contracted mesothelial tissue or ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for years.
Contact the talcum powder injury lawyers at the Lovely Law firm
If you have developed cancer of your mesothelial lining or of your ovaries after using talcum powder for years or have lost your loved one from the diseases, you may have legal rights. It is important to talk to attorneys who are experienced in handling these types of claims. Large talcum powder manufacturers have legal teams to defend them against claims, and it can be difficult to prove the link between the use of talcum powder and the development of cancer. Our lawyers understand the legal principles that underpin asbestos claims and how to build strong cases for our clients. Contact the Lovely Law Firm today to speak to our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys about your potential claim.