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Talc & Baby Power Use: Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer Claims

Ohio Asbestos Attorney

Before the 1970s, health safety agencies paid little attention to asbestos-related illnesses. But that changed quickly when global studies showed asbestos exposure likely caused cancer. The majority of asbestos cancer cases involve workers handling asbestos materials and later developing lung cancer. But ovarian cancer has also been linked to asbestos exposure.

According to an investigative report by Reuters, the FDA has downplayed health concerns about asbestos contamination in baby powder and cosmetics. The safety agency relied on Johnson & Johnson to regulate themselves, and to test the safety of their own products.

Now, as women are coming forward with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma diagnoses, there are thousands of baby powder asbestos cancer lawsuits pending. Johnson & Johnson still claims their talc products are safe for use, and deny wrongdoing.

But with evidence that baby powder products have tested positive for cancer-causing toxins, the litigation is moving forward. Huge verdicts have been awarded to plaintiffs in the last two years.

Joe Lyon is a Cincinnati, Ohio Product Liability and Asbestos Attorney investigating baby powder asbestos exposure lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs nationwide. 

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder & Possible Asbestos Exposure

According to plaintiffs, Johnson & Johnson, the company that manufacturers the iconic brand of baby powder, failed to warn customers that its talcum powder was tainted with toxic asbestos.

Even if the FDA had doubts about consumer safety, the agency downplayed the risk of talc asbestos contamination and chose not to issue warnings or impose any new safety standards. In fairness to the FDA, they rarely ordered third-party tests for products as the number of new cosmetic products to hit the market is overwhelming.

Only recently, with thousands of ovarian cancer cases pending, as well as a criminal investigation, the FDA ordered tests that found asbestos in 11 talc-based cosmetics, including J&J’s Baby Powder. The company recalled 33,000 bottles, but still sells the product.

Ovarian Cancer Linked to Talcum Powder

With corporations regulating themselves, it is no surprise that defective products are released to the market each year. With only fears of litigation, companies can produce dangerous and toxic products and have no need to worry about FDA approval. Self-regulation simply does not work in most industries.

With that said, the FDA has said its resources to properly regulate the cosmetic industry are limited. In fact, even if product defects are found, the FDA has no power to force companies to pull toxic products from the shelf. FDA officials say their policy is to encourage recalls if necessary.

J&J did recall a small amount of Baby Powder, out of an “abundance of caution.” The company says their cosmetics are safe and the baby powder asbestos tests were an anomaly, and hardly the norm. Experts tend to disagree, however, and the massive amount of lawsuits pending show that plaintiffs have every intention of holding the company responsible for cancer cases.

FDA Review of Baby Powder Safety

The FDA first started looking into talc safety hazards in 1971, and two later they found asbestos in a sample of Johnson & Johnson Shower to Shower, a talc-based product made with the same talc as J&J’s Baby Powder. The FDA did not announce the finding. At the time, the regulators said the finding did not present a serious enough risk to consumers.

Fifty years later, with so many cancer cases at the forefront of talc litigation, plaintiffs wonder seriously if the risk was completely overlooked, or if the company knew the risks and chose to profit instead of warn consumers.

Asbestos refers to a group of six minerals that can easily be ingested or inhaled, and are known to cause lung and ovarian cancer. According to a letter produced in litigation, a 1974 letter from J&J to the FDA noted that if babies were exposed to talc powder with a 1% asbestos concentration, it would be a lower concentration than allowed in the 1970s for industrial workers.

J&J Denies Talc Exposure Linked to Cancer

The company still says even if there were trace amounts of asbestos in their products, it was not enough to present a health risk. Into the 1980s, however, other researchers began suggesting that at least a warning label be applied to baby powder products. No warning label has even been added to the talc products in question.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the use of talcum powder in the pelvic region as “possibly carcinogenic.”

In court, juries have sided with plaintiffs. A Missouri jury concluded J&J’s baby powder caused a woman’s ovarian cancer, and awarded $72 million. The company faces more than 16,000 baby powder asbestos cancer lawsuits.

Questions about Talc & Asbestos Exposure

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was first utilized in the early 1900s for its insulating abilities, fireproof properties, and versatility. It has been estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos was used in the American economy in industrial yards, homes, schools, shipyards, and other workplaces.

The natural breakdown of asbestos products and subsequent sawing or cutting of the asbestos creates dust and fibers that are inhaled and can lead to mesothelioma and other severe forms of lung cancer.

Why is Asbestos Toxic?

When asbestos breaks down over time or with use, the fibers of the material can become airborne, presenting a risk of inhaling or ingesting the toxin. Asbestos is a cancer-causing agent, and those heavily exposed can develop scarring in the lungs and later develop lug cancer and mesothelioma.

What Materials Contain Asbestos?

Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, machine parts, packaging, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing, and in many building materials.

Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

If you were exposed to asbestos at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a related illness, you are likely to qualify for compensation.

Why Did Companies Use Asbestos?

Asbestos was cheap, durable, fire-resistant and light, and was though to be the perfect insulating material before research showed it was extremely hazardous tot he health.

Is it hard to win an asbestos case?

The success rates of settlements regarding asbestos exposure injury are quite high. It may be necessary to prove that occupational exposure is the primary cause of lung cancer or mesothelioma, though this is the job of The Lyon Firm, and we have experience in reaching large mesothelioma settlements.

Where are known asbestos expsoure sites?
Why Hire the Lyon Firm

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Asbestos lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world 

Talc Consumer & Recently Diagnosed with Mesothelioma or Lung Cancer: 

Video:  Statute of Limitations for Asbestos

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