We Know Mesothelioma

Companies did inmate tests in the 70s showing asbestos’ dangers

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2022 | Asbestos |

The dangers of asbestos have been known for decades, but modern medical science has helped clarify the risks this mineral substance causes. Some of that knowledge comes from the collection of information about workers exposed to asbestos, and some of it comes from direct research.

Companies have even engaged in testing to look into the risks of asbestos. In fact, even companies who claim asbestos contamination isn’t an issue with their products engaged in asbestos research.

Johnson & Johnson is back in the public eye recently because of shocking information about research conducted on humans in the 1970s. 

How the health and beauty giant tested on inmates

According to documents just unsealed, Johnson & Johnson conducted asbestos tests on inmates in Pennsylvania prisons. Although the public already knew some of the basic information about this research, the details are quite shocking.

In 1971, ten inmates received injections with asbestos. They did this as a way to compare the substance’s impact with that of talc. They were injected with talc, tremolite and chrysolite asbestos. The asbestos caused strong reactions in several of the inmates.

In addition to the ethical concerns involved in injecting prisoners with dangerous substances, there is also concern about the disproportionate representation of black inmates in that testing group. Overall, the case doesn’t look good for the company, whose internal records show a pattern of downplaying the risk that asbestos-contaminated talc could cause.

For those who believe they have medical issues because of talc powder use or who have lost a loved one to cancer caused by talc powder, this most recent story is further evidence of the indifference some companies have toward the safety of the public. Understanding the connection between talc powder and severe medical issues like cancer can help people look into their options for compensation.