Asbestos in Talcum Powder

Since talc and asbestos are both naturally occurring minerals, they can form in the earth alongside each other. When talc minerals that have formed alongside asbestos minerals are mined they can become contaminated with the asbestos minerals. Talc products made from talc deposits containing asbestos will most likely be contaminated with asbestos.

Cosmetic grade talc and industrial talc go through different refinement processes. Cosmetic talc is more refined, but many times asbestos fibers from the geologic source still make it into talc products.

What is Talc?

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral composed of several elements. Talc is mined from the earth and is then processed for use in cosmetics, personal hygiene products, and industrial manufacturing. Talc’s soft, powdery consistency makes it useful for absorbing moisture, odors, and oils. Talcum powder is a common ingredient in baby powder, foot powder, and cosmetics. Talc is also used in an industrial capacity in the manufacturing of plastics, paints, ceramics, paper, and many other products.

Talc Asbestos Mineral Samples

Left: Talc mineral sample. Right: Asbestos mineral sample.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with a fibrous texture. Asbestos is a naturally strong, heat-resistant material and as a result, was used for many decades as a component in insulation material. Asbestos use has largely been banned because it was determined that asbestos exposure can lead to the development of deadly diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Individuals with the highest risk for asbestos exposure are those who worked in shipbuilding, construction, oil refining, steel industry, chemical manufacturing, naval servicemen, mining and most other industrial trades.

Health Problems Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Individuals exposed to asbestos can develop rare, but deadly diseases. Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the linings of the lungs, called the pleura, or abdomen, called the peritoneum, that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Victims of mesothelioma may have chest or abdominal pain, coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, and other symptoms.

Asbestosis is a lung disease caused by asbestos fibers lodging in the lungs. The fibers cause irritation in the lungs that can lead to scarring making it hard to breathe. Asbestosis victims may have shortness of breath and a chronic cough.

Asbestos Contaminated Talc Products

Asbestos contaminated talc has been found in many cosmetic and industrial talc products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration monitors cosmetic products for potential safety problems, but cosmetic products do not have to undergo review by the FDA before being approved to go on the market. Below are some of the products that have been associated with asbestos contamination.

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder

Johnson & Johnson has claimed for decades that its baby powder products are safe. However, thousands of internal documents from Johnson & Johnson revealed the company knew as early as the 1950s that its talc products were contaminated with asbestos. An investigation by Reuters found the company knew asbestos was found in samples of its baby powder, but Johnson & Johnson did not warn the public of the health hazard.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found small amounts of asbestos in a bottle of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. The company announced a recall of the product as it conducted its own investigation.

Thousands of individuals have filed claims that Johnson & Johnson baby powder caused them to develop mesothelioma. Many juries have found Johnson & Johnson liable in these cases, but the company continues to deny any wrongdoing and says its products are safe.

Cashmere Bouquet Powder

Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder was a popular product manufactured by Colgate-Palmolive from the 1870s to 1980s. The company discontinued selling the product in 1995. Since then, Colgate-Palmolive has faced multiple lawsuits claiming the Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder was contaminated with asbestos and caused some users to develop mesothelioma.

In 2018, Colgate-Palmolive reached a settlement in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff claimed use of Cashmere Bouquet baby powder led to the development of his mesothelioma diagnosis. Colgate-Palmolive denied the allegation in court and argued there was no evidence to support the plaintiff’s claims. The terms of the settlement were not released publicly.

Mennen and other Men’s Talcum Powder Products

Talc supplier, Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, has faced several lawsuits related to asbestos contaminated talc. In 2016, a plaintiff was awarded $18 million in a lawsuit against Whittaker, Clark & Daniels. The plaintiff claimed he developed mesothelioma after exposure to talc products in his father’s barber shop. The products named in the suit were Old Spice, Clubman, Kings Men, Faberge, and Mennen Shave Talc.

Cosmetics (Claire’s/Justice)

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it found asbestos in talc-based cosmetic products from retailers Claire’s and Justice. Reports originally surfaced in 2017 questioning the safety of the cosmetic products. Both companies issued a recall for their talc-based cosmetics. Claire’s filed for bankruptcy in 2018 which halted civil litigation against the company.

Industrial (Ceramics, paper, paint, etc.)

Industrial talc is used in many products including clay, ceramics, crayons, chalk, paints, glazes, and many more. Talc is also often used in tire production to line molds. Workers using industrial talc in manufacturing facilities may be at risk of asbestos exposure. Miners and refinery workers who handle raw talc may also be at risk for asbestos exposure.

Contact Baron & Budd

Baron & Budd’s asbestos litigation lawyers were among the first in the country to take on an asbestos-related case, more than 45 years ago, and our dedication to helping mesothelioma victims has only increased over the years. Today Baron & Budd’s team of dedicated mesothelioma lawyers works across the nation, winning many precedent-setting cases and handling many mesothelioma claims. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you are likely entitled to compensation from those responsible. Make sure you have the best mesothelioma attorneys on your side throughout the legal process.

After a mesothelioma diagnosis, you need the best and most experienced asbestos lawyers on your side. Mesothelioma litigation is complex, and requires a team of lawyers, investigators, medical experts, and specialized mesothelioma researchers so that you can get the biggest payout. If you have family counting on you for financial support, hiring a lawyer means you are taking the first step toward financial security for your family.

We know that no amount of money from a lawsuit can make things right, but the money from a lawsuit can help your family cover costly medical bills and help support your loved ones at a time when you may be struggling financially.

Call 855-280-7664 or contact us online.