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Talcum Powder Pleural Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, usually at work but some people who may have developed pleural mesothelioma after using talcum powder contaminated with asbestos are filing lawsuits against talc manufacturers.

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Talc Pleural Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-related malignant cancer that causes tumors to develop in the mesothelial layer which surrounds the lungs. It the most common form of mesothelioma, responsible for about 75 to 80% of all mesothelioma cases.

Mesothelioma usually develops in people who have worked around asbestos for many years but other sources of exposure may include use of talcum powder products which have been contaminated with asbestos. People who have been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma after using talcum powder believe their cancer was caused by asbestos-contaminated talc and are now filing lawsuits against talcum powder manufacturers.

Asbestos in Talc Products

Talcum powder is a refined, milled form of talc, a naturally mined mineral that comes from ground deposits. Many talc deposits are located near asbestos deposits and when mined, talc may become contaminated.

the 1970’s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required that all talcum powders be free of asbestos and while the majority of talc-containing products do not contain asbestos, contamination events still occur. Inhalation of asbestos-contaminated talc may increase the chance for pleural mesothelioma.

The FDA conducted testing of cosmetic talc-containing products in 2009-2010 and failed to find asbestos, however the agency stated that the investigation was limited to only four talc suppliers and that contamination in other products could not be guaranteed. To date, the FDA does not require routine testing of talc products to ensure they are not contaminated with asbestos.

In addition, some critics have said that the current methods used to test talc for asbestos contamination are not sensitive enough. One talc company executive indicated to the FDA that current testing standards are not good enough to ensure that all products are asbestos free.

Pleural Mesothelioma

The pleura is a soft tissue surrounding the lungs which contains a layer of cells, known as the mesothelium. Pleural mesothelioma is caused by inhalation of asbestos, a naturally-occurring, thin, fiber-like substance that can lodge in the tissues of the lungs. Talc which is contaminated with asbestos may also increase the chance for developing pleural mesothelioma.

Asbestos’ needle-like fibers are not easily dislodged and after a period of time, these fibers may cause inflammation, cell mutations and the growth of plaques, which then go on to form malignant tumors. When cancer cells form tumors in the mesothelial lining, it develops into mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma tumors may also develop in different locations of the body including:

  • Abdomen – Peritoneal Mesothelioma
  • Heart – Pericardial Mesothelioma
  • Scrotum – Testicular Mesothelioma

Talcum Powder Linked Ovarian Cancer

Talcum powder used mostly by women has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Use of baby or body powder containing talc, when applied to the genital area or when used with tampons or sanitary supplies, may over time, travel to the ovaries.

Several women and families have already won judgements against talcum powder companies for ovarian cancer diagnoses after women had used Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower-to-Shower or other talcum powder products. In addition to ovarian cancer, use of baby and body care products with asbestos-contaminated talcum powder may have caused some people to develop mesothelioma.

Talcum Powder and Mesothelioma

Asbestos in Makeup Products

A 1970 Mount Sinai Hospital report revealed that 10 of 19 popular consumer products, containing talc also contained asbestos.

Products found to be asbestos-contaminated included:

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

Asbestos was subsequently banned in most consumer products and removed from personal care products in the mid-1970s, however contamination events still occur.

A 2018 report by consumer group, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) showed that nine personal care products sold by accessory retailer, Claire’s, contained asbestos. Claire’s recalled the products and denied the report but filed for bankruptcy protection shortly after.

Also, in 2018, another fashion retailer, Justice, recalled eight products due to asbestos contamination. The products were from their “Just Shine” makeup line which is marketed towards tween girls. USPIRG reported that a number of mass-market products had been tested and had not shown contamination, including products by makeup giants Covergirl and L’Oréal.

Talc Pleural Mesothelioma Lawsuits

While most of the lawsuits involving ovarian cancer associated with talcum powder use have involved women, those affected by mesothelioma due to talc use include both men and women.

  • In 2015, a California woman successfully obtained a $13 million judgement against Colgate-Palmolive for Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder asbestos contamination which she said caused her mesothelioma diagnosis.
  • In 2016, a California man won an $18 million judgement against Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, supplier of the talc that had been used in his father’s barbershop and which he said caused his mesothelioma.
  • In April 2018, a man and his wife won a $117 million judgement against Johnson & Johnson after he said Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower had caused his mesothelioma.

People who have been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma after using talcum powder products which may have been contaminated with asbestos should seek legal assistance. Past victims have received compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and in some cases punitive damages. Each case is unique and must be evaluated separately.


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