Were you diagnosed with mesothelioma? Are you struggling to figure out the cause of your exposure? You are not alone. Mesothelioma websites and lawsuits concentrate on exposure to asbestos through work. New studies and a successful talcum powder mesothelioma lawsuit point to an additional cause of this devastating cancer. Exposure to asbestos through talc products.
TruLaw is filing lawsuits on behalf of mesothelioma victims claiming talcum powder-based products containing asbestos caused their mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the mesothelial cell. The mesothelial cells are the protective layer of tissue around the lungs, heart, and stomach. They cushion the organs, prevents friction, and allows for free movement of the body.
Mesothelioma is a serious diagnosis. 2,000 to 3,000 people die from mesothelioma each year in the U.S. Asbestos exposure is responsible for nearly all cases. On average, individuals live for less than one year after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Exposure to asbestos dust is considered to be the main cause of mesothelioma. Individuals currently suffering from mesothelioma were likely exposed to asbestos at least 20 years ago. Talcum powder studies and lawsuits show individuals exposed to asbestos through talcum products used these products continuously throughout their lifetime.
For years, lawsuits filed by individuals who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace moved forward in the courts. Individuals without any identifiable exposure to asbestos in the workplace were unable to find justice in the courtrooms. Those individuals are now looking at their use of cosmetic products containing talc.
Several lawsuits have successfully compensated individuals who allege continuous exposure to talc powder was the cause of their mesothelioma.
Recent cases expose evidence that talc products such as baby powder contain asbestos. Companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America have been hit with multi-million dollar verdicts for acting with reckless indifference in selling the cancer-causing products that contributed to the development of mesothelioma.
Steven Lanzo, who was recently awarded a $117 million verdict, (including $80 million in punitive damages), was exposed to talcum powder products starting in the 1970’s when his mother used baby powder on him as an infant. Lanzo continued this common practice through his adult life to 2003. The jury found that this use of baby powder products played a substantial role in Steven’s mesothelioma diagnosis.
Johnson & Johnson used tests that detect asbestos only above a certain threshold and for that reason, did not report asbestos in talcum, according to the Lanzo case. This same high standard was used by researchers that lawyers alleged were influenced by Johnson & Johnson in publishing biased scientific literature. J&J continues to deny the existence of asbestos fibers in their talc products.
The jury in the Lanzo case awarded punitive damages because they found that J&J knew their talc powder products contained asbestos for over 50 years but kept that information hidden from the public.
In 2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a unit of the World Health Organization classified talc as “carcinogenic to humans”.
Despite this frightening classification talcum powder has been used for decades for a wide variety of purposes including as an ingredient in soap and baby powder, an industrial lubricant for precision machinery, and in the papermaking industry.
In 1973, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to require that cosmetic products be tested for asbestos, and in 1989, the U.S. banned asbestos in certain products. Although it was banned outright in more than 50 countries, talcum has not been banned in the U.S. As a result, asbestos is still present in a number of consumer products. New studies add common cosmetic products, body and baby powder, and talc used by barbers.
An explosive 2014 study published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health found asbestos-contaminated talc in the lung tissue of a woman who died of asbestos-caused mesothelioma after years of using the product. As a result of this study, many scientists, physicians, and lawyers attribute at least part of the increase in asbestos-related diseased to the presence of asbestos in consumer products.
There are currently no federal regulations requiring that cosmetic-grade talcum powder product be asbestos-free. The FDA takes action to ban a product only if they have sound scientific evidence demonstrating that the product is harmful when used as it is intended.
Despite the lack of regulation, a number of organizations have released guidance regarding the use of talcum powder and its potential relationship with mesothelioma:
For years, ovarian cancer has been linked to talcum-based products and these talcum powder lawsuits continue to move forward in court. Johnson & Johnson currently faces more than 6,600 talcum powder-related lawsuits. Most allege that the products caused women to develop ovarian cancer.
Recently there have been a number of substantial verdicts in talcum powder mesothelioma litigation across the nation. More individuals are expected to challenge the continued denial of talcum manufacturers in court.
Recent cases include:
An injured person who brings a talcum powder mesothelioma lawsuit is often eligible for compensatory damages. These might include:
· Pain and suffering
· Medical expenses
· Lost earnings
· Loss of consortium
· Loss of enjoyment of life
In some jurisdictions, the plaintiff may also be able to recover punitive damages intended to punish a company for misconduct and discourage others from engaging in similar conduct. To recover punitive damages, a claimant must prove that the defendant acted recklessly with disregard to a known risk, or maliciously or intentionally harmed the plaintiff.
To recover damages in a mesothelioma claim a plaintiff must present evidence of the diagnosis and proof of asbestos exposure. The person must prove specific legal claims asserting that the defendant was negligent and did not exercise reasonable care in manufacturing, selling, or using products containing asbestos.
Talc: The Softest Mineral. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://geology.com/minerals/talc.shtml
Clark, J., McKee, J., & MCA. (n.d.). Asbestos in talc powder products. Retrieved from https://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-exposure/products/talc-powder/
J&J loses talcum powder lawsuit. (2018, April 12). Retrieved from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2018/04/06/johnson-johnson-asbestos-talc-damages/
FDA investigates cosmetics for asbestos contamination. (2018, March 28). Retrieved from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2012/03/22/fda-cosmetics-testing-asbestos/
Talcum powder lawsuit: Asbestos in talc linked to mesothelioma. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.maacenter.org/blog/talcum-powder-lawsuit-asbestos-in-talc-linked-to-mesothelioma/
Gordon, R. E., Fitzgerald, S., & Millette, J. (2014, October). Asbestos in commercial cosmetic talcum powder as a cause of mesothelioma in women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164883/
Talcum powder and cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/talcum-powder-and-cancer.html
IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. (2014). International Agency for Research Carbon Black, Titanium Dioxide, Talc on Cancer, 93, 1-466. Retrieved from http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol93/index.php on September 29, 2014.
Schneider, A. (2014, October 31). Study: Cosmetic talc products carry asbestos peril. Retrieved from https://www.seattlepi.com/national/article/Study-Cosmetic-talc-products-carry-asbestos-peril-5861858.php