Posted on 27th September, 2020
by Legal Staff
Because talc occurs in the earth nearby asbestos, it is always contaminated with the dangerous mineral, even after the refining process. Since asbestos fibers are microscopic, they cannot be entirely removed by the refining process of talcum. This is why talcum powder is dangerous, as talc in and of itself is not a hazardous mineral. For decades, people in the United States have been using talcum powder to keep their skin dry, applying it mostly under their arms and in the genital area. For this reason, there is a strong connection between ovarian cancer and the regular use of talcum powder. However, using talcum powder can also cause a series of respiratory conditions, including lung cancer, since when one applies talcum powder, a significant amount of the product lingers in the air. By inhaling talcum powder on a regular basis, your risk of developing lung disease increases significantly.
The following are the lung diseases inhaling talcum powder on a frequent basis can lead to:
Similarly to asbestos exposure, when someone inhales talc particles, they will subsequently attach themselves to the lung tissue and will remain there forever, as the body cannot eliminate talc particles. Over the years, these particles, which are contaminated with asbestos, may gradually cause severe inflammation and tissue scarring, eventually leading to lung disease. You should know that a disease affecting the lungs will develop within 20 to 50 years after you first used talcum powder, as these diseases have a long latency period. It is worthy of note that if you had been using talcum powder for a long period of time and developed lung diseases because of it, you have the legal right to file a personal injury claim with the manufacturer.
There are conflicting studies concerning the causal relation between the regular use of talcum powder and lung cancer. However, a series of studies documents a high rate of lung cancer in talc miners and millers. It is noteworthy that talc is also used in the production of ceramics, plastics, roofing, paper, flooring and rubber, which increases the risk of these occupational groups of developing lung cancer. As for mesothelioma, there have been numerous cases when people alleged in lawsuits against talcum powder manufacturers that they developed it after the regular use of their product. Because talc particles contaminated with asbestos are very small, they can easily travel through the lungs and reach the lining of the organ, medically known as the mesothelium. There, they will slowly cause damage to the tissue, which may eventually lead to the growth of malignant tumors.
In 2019, a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine involved 33 people who developed mesothelioma only by using talcum powder on a regular basis. Interestingly, talcum powder is approximately 98% pure talc, as the rest is other minerals, including asbestos. Therefore, while a definitive causal relation between the use of talcum powder and lung cancer and mesothelioma has not yet been found, there are multiple studies that suggest a connection, so it is better to be safe than sorry and limit your talcum powder use. The symptoms of lung cancer and mesothelioma include:
The most notorious manufacturer of talcum powder is Johnson & Johnson, which has recently had 33,000 bottles of Baby Powder recalled by the Food and Drug Administration because the agency found particles of chrysotile asbestos in the products. Their most renowned talcum powder products are Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower. At the moment, the company is facing over 17,000 federal lawsuits alleging that their talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer and lung disease, including mesothelioma, whose only known cause is asbestos exposure. Despite the increasing number of lawsuits, the company announced that it will stop selling talcum powder in the United States and Canada, not because the products are dangerous, but because of the economic problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, this is just a discontinuation of the product, not a recall or market withdrawal, so we might see Johnson & Johnson talcum powder on the market again in the future.
In addition to Johnson & Johnson, there are multiple other companies that manufacture talcum powder with asbestos, such as the following:
While some companies claim that their talcum powder is asbestos-free, the product is still likely to contain asbestos, as the refining process cannot remove the dangerous mineral. Thereby, you should avoid using talcum powder as much as possible to eschew the risk of lung disease and other serious health problems.
In the unfortunate event that you had been using talcum powder and subsequently developed lung disease, we will help you review whether you or a family member may be entitled to financial compensation. After we check your eligibility over the phone, a process that takes approximately 10 minutes, you will know with certainty whether you qualify for compensation.
If you were injured by talcum powder contaminated with asbestos, taking legal action is very important, as not only will it result in financial compensation for you, but it will also hold the liable company accountable for their negligence. For additional information, please contact Atraxia Law and our experienced and knowledgeable team of experts will gladly answer your questions and address your concerns.