Study Shows Talcum Powder Carries Asbestos Cancer Risk

High Risk of Developing Cancer Tied to Asbestos in Talcum Powder

Talcum PowderA new study suggests that miners and manufacturers do not acknowledge how often talcum powder is contaminated with asbestos during the mining process, which can lead to cancer when using talcum powder-based bath products.

Scientists from three different laboratories investigated for over a year, examining talcum powder for asbestos – talcum powder is present in many baby and shower products, especially Shower to Shower by Johnson & Johnson – as well as lung tissue from a woman who died from mesothelioma, caused by asbestos contamination after she reportedly used a talcum powder-based bath product for years.

Medical researchers have, for years, seen cases of women developing mesothelioma without any history of being exposed to asbestos in buildings or mining operations.

“Of course we knew that there was asbestos contaminating the talc in many cosmetic powders, but who would have ever thought that that’s the way these women were being exposed?” said pathologist Ronald Gordon, one of three authors of the extensive study on mesothelioma and talc products published online in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health last month.

Mesothelioma is a disease seen in people who live or work in buildings with asbestos that has not been removed yet, as well as in talc miners, who are often exposed to asbestos during the talc mining process. However, companies and mining operators have denied for decades that their talc products, including talcum powder, become contaminated with asbestos in high enough cases for a statistically significant portion of their products’ users develop mesothelioma.

However, the researchers’ laboratory analyses, as well as claims in personal injury cases, reveal that talcum powder is contaminated by asbestos much more often than businesses would admit. Talcum powder is used frequently in baby powder, after-shower powders, and cosmetics – this means that the number of women who develop mesothelioma as a result of talcum powder is rapidly increasing.

“We have traced the asbestos in the talc to the mines from which it originated, into the milled grades, into the product, and finally into the lung and lymph nodes of the users of those products, including one woman who developed mesothelioma,” the study reported.

“Clearly this is not a situation where asbestos-contaminated talc is just harming a few people from any one place,” said pathologist Gordon, who explained that he’s getting a growing number of “lung tissue samples from patients with mesotheliomas where their only source of asbestos was from using cosmetic talcum powders containing the asbestos.”

“Every time I test a variety of the off-the-shelf cosmetics I always find asbestos in some of the talc,” said Sean Fitzgerald, a geologist with SAI Laboratory in Greensboro, N.C., which conducted a separate study. “This remains a hazard to consumers that should not be ignored.”

“The fact that companies have … exposed millions of women and children to asbestos-laden talc is a symptom of the inadequacy of government protection of U.S. citizens,” said Dr. David Egilman, clinical professor of family medicine at Brown University’s School of Medicine and the editor-in-chief of the journal that published the third study.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Talcum Powder Personal Injury Cases

If you have been harmed, or a loved one has regularly used talcum powder and has since developed ovarian cancer, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. You may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.



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