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Research About Talcum Powder Contaminated With Asbestos

Talc is the softest mineral on earth, used in industrial and consumer products. The most widely used consumer used talc product is talcum powder – the same one that families often used on their babies and children. Finely crushed talcum powder is valued for its ability to simultaneously absorb moisture and lubricate. Indeed, people have used talcum powder products to dry, protect, and perfume their skin for more than a century.

Although there is ongoing debate about whether pure talc is associated with health risks, there is no doubt that asbestos exposure through contaminated talc products can cause cancer. In these instances, the controversy arises over whether the talcum powders were contaminated with asbestos.

Talc And Mesothelioma

Current research indicates that talc contaminated with asbestos and asbestiform minerals has led to the development of mesothelioma.

Geologically, talc and asbestos can naturally form alongside each other, though not every talc deposit is contaminated with asbestos. Whether a particular talc product contains asbestos has everything to do with its geologic source. If the talc deposit contains asbestos or asbestiform minerals, the products made with that same talc are likely to be contaminated with asbestos. Many companies sourced their talc from asbestos-contaminated mines, including sites in North Carolina, Alabama, Vermont, and Italy.

Asbestos In Talcum Powder

Companies began selling talcum powder in the late 1800s to alleviate and prevent skin irritations such as chafing and diaper rash. Pulverized talc became known by many names, but its most famous branding came with the introduction of Johnson’s Baby Powder in 1893.

Numerous companies sold perfumed talcum powder as face-dusting powder for women and as after-shave powder for men. Johnson & Johnson maintained its prime position in the industry with its Shower to Shower line of body powder products. Talc used in cosmetics and has a history of asbestos contamination, primarily involving talcum powder products. Several cases of contamination have involved children’s makeup sold by national retailers like Claire’s.

During the first half of the 20th century, asbestos had a positive reputation with the American public – because of the industry’s cover up of its negative health effects. Then in the 1970s, mounting medical evidence began to turn the tide of opinion against asbestos. In 1976, researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital examined 19 samples of American talcum powder products and found asbestos in 10 of them, with the asbestos content ranging from 2% to 20% depending on the brand.

Because of the long latency period associated with asbestos-related diseases, however, many consumers who regularly used contaminated talcum powder may just now be developing symptoms.

Talcum Powder Products Contaminated With Asbestos

Though the 1976 Mount Sinai study did not look at whether talcum powder samples were contaminated with asbestos, recently produced documents from Johnson & Johnson show that the company did suppress reports of asbestos contamination at one talc supplier’s mine in the early 1970s.

Due to lobbying from the cosmetic industry, cosmetic products and ingredients do not have to undergo FDA review or approval before they hit the market shelves, except for color additives. Because talcum powder manufacturers have been allowed to self-regulate its own industry for decades, the extent of their cover-up is finally now being discovered:

Documents produced in litigation and news investigations alike have revealed that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its baby powder could be contaminated with asbestos. For example, Johnson & Johnson memorandum from April 1973 shows their attempts to fight the growing asbestos concern with the public and the FDA. Johnson & Johnson also recognized “Our Baby Powder contains talc fragments classifiable as [asbestos] fiber.” Click here to read the whole memo.

Despite this information, even today body powder products may be made from talc, cornstarch, or various other alternatives. The question is determining whether that talc is really pure talc.

Talcum powder brands associated with past asbestos contamination include:

  • Bauer & Black Baby Talc
  • Cashmere Bouquet Body Talc
  • Coty Airspun Face Powder
  • Desert Flower Dusting Powder
  • English Leather After Shave Talc
  • Faberge Brut Talc
  • Friendship Garden Talcum Powder
  • Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder
  • Kings Men After Shave Talc
  • Old Spice After Shave Talc
  • Pinaud Clubman Talc Powder
  • Rosemary Talc
  • ZBT Baby Powder

Why You Should Take Legal Action

If you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you’re not alone. We encourage you to explore your options by calling us at 206-558-9441 to get the help and support you deserve and help keep these talcum powder manufacturers accountable. Keep in mind: Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder manufacturers have made billions of dollars at the expense of our family members’ lives, maintaining that its talcum powders are safe enough to use on your babies.

If you or a loved one has been affected and wish to take legal action, we can help. Our team of lawyers is dedicated to helping you and your family pursue a case to help find the justice you deserve. Call us or email us today for a free consultation to see what we can do for you.