Talcum Powder Pleural Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Though talcum powder has been declared “asbestos-free” for decades, talc which is contaminated with asbestos may cause mesothelioma. People who have used talc products may be considering filing talc pleural mesothelioma lawsuits.

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Talc Pleural Mesothelioma Lawsuit

talc mesotheliomaTalcum powder that has been contaminated with asbestos may cause cancer, including rare and deadly cancer, mesothelioma. When asbestos-contaminated talc becomes airborne, it may enter the body in the lungs and result in pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of the aggressive and fatal cancer, mesothelioma.

Talc-related pleural mesothelioma may be related to exposure at work in certain industries like painters, plumbers and others who use talc, but may also be related to home use of talcum powder products. People who were exposed to asbestos in talc consumer products or who were exposed due to work in talc-related industries may be filing talc pleural mesothelioma lawsuits.

Talc Contaminated With Asbestos

Talcum powder is a refined form of talc, a mineral that is mined from the earth and used as an absorbent and lubricant. Asbestos is also mined from the earth, often in similar types of deposits which may be located close to talc deposits.

Talc has been used in personal care products, baby products, and cosmetics. The most famous talcum powder products have come from Johnson & Johnson. Regulators and health officials consider talcum powder to be safe, however its use has been linked to a number of different types of cancer including ovarian cancer. If talcum powder were contaminated with asbestos, its use may expose the user to risk of mesothelioma.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned asbestos from talcum powder products in the 1970s but does not require manufacturers to conduct regular testing of their products to ensure they are asbestos free. Asbestos has been found in makeup products which contain talc, including some types of “play” makeup marketed towards children. Several talcum powder products were found to have contained asbestos fibers before its use was banned in the 1970s.

Some studies have proposed a link between long-term talc use or exposure and mesothelioma, though no confirmation has been shown. People who used talcum powder have filed lawsuits after they said it caused pleural mesothelioma.

Lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson for cancer caused by talcum powder products and others have filed pleural mesothelioma lawsuits against talc manufacturers for products which may have been contaminated with asbestos.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare type of malignant cancer that is considered fatal. Mesothelioma usually takes years to develop and occurs when tumors grow in the “mesothelium”, a layer of tissue that surrounds the lungs, abdomen or heart. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for most mesothelioma cases.

Mesothelioma types:

  • Pleural mesothelioma – tumors in the pleural mesothelial layer surrounding lungs inside the chest cavity
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma – tumors in the peritoneal mesothelial layer which lines the abdominal cavity
  • Pericardial mesothelioma – tumors in the mesothelial layer of the pericardium or sac surrounding the heart

Mesothelioma develops when needle-like fibers of asbestos lodge in mesothelial tissue. They are not easily dislodged and over a period of years can cause tissues to become inflamed and tumors to grow. Once mesothelioma develops, it is generally considered fatal though treatments may delay disease progression and improve quality of life.

Mesothelioma can take between 20 and 50 years to develop, possibly even longer. It has a long latency period and people who were exposed to asbestos before it was banned may be just now finding out they have mesothelioma. This means people that exposed to talcum powder with asbestos before the 1980s might be at risk of developing mesothelioma in the 2000s or later.

Talcum Powder and Mesothelioma

Even the FDA cannot guarantee that current talcum powder products do not contain asbestos. Though a sample of cosmetic talc was conducted in 2009 and 2010 and no asbestos was found, only four suppliers provided samples and the FDA stated that the results of the study did not prove that all or even most of the talc-containing products were free of asbestos, only that those tested were not contaminated.

Several consumer products contain or have historically been made with talcum powder. The most famous is Johnson’s Baby Powder which no longer uses talc but has substituted corn starch. Powder or shimmer-type makeup has traditionally used talc to provide shine and the “slippery” texture that many products impart.

If any product made from talc has been contaminated with asbestos, they may expose the user to mesothelioma. Talc exposure may also occur on the job for people working in the cosmetics or beauty industry including those involved in manufacturing but also barbers, makeup artists and cosmetologists.

Exposure to asbestos in talcum powder can occur in an industrial setting. Several types of manufacturing use industrial talcum powder to make paper products, pain, plastics and rubber and other building materials. Talc is used in wastewater plants to purify water and asbestos-contaminated talc in mines and factories may have exposed workers.

Asbestos-Contaminated Talc in Makeup

Asbestos was banned in consumer products in the 1970s and all makeup sold after that time should be asbestos free. Asbestos was banned in the 1970s but prior to that a Mount Sinai Hospital report had revealed that 10 of 19 talc-containing consumer products also contained asbestos.

Products included:

  • Bauer & Black Baby Talc
  • Cashmere Bouquet Body Talc
  • Coty Airspun Face Powder
  • English Leather After Shave Talc
  • Faberge Brut Talc
  • Mennen Shave Talc
  • Rosemary Talc
  • Yardley Invisible Talc
  • Yardley Black Label Baby Powder
  • ZBT Baby Powder with Baby Oil

In 2018, a report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) showed that nine consumer products sold by fashion accessory retailer, Claire’s, were contaminated with asbestos. The company denied the report and recalled the products but also filed for bankruptcy in 2018.

The same year, tween-girls retailer, Justice, was forced to recall eight products from the “Just Shine” makeup line due to asbestos contamination but USPIRG also tested several makeup products by well-known companies such as Cover Girl and L’Oreal but did not find asbestos contamination.

Talcum Powder Pleural Mesothelioma Lawsuits

People who were diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma have filed lawsuits against talcum powder manufacturers. Lawsuits claim that the manufacturers knew their talc products were contaminated with asbestos but continued to sell them anyway.

Though the pleural mesothelioma talcum powder lawsuits are separate, Johnson & Johnson and other talc manufacturers are facing hundreds of ovarian cancer lawsuits due to talcum powder use.

In April of 2018, a man and his wife were awarded $117 million by a New Jersey jury who agreed that talcum powder in Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower powder had caused his pleural mesothelioma.

People who were diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma after using talcum powder products which may have been contaminated with asbestos should seek legal assistance. Past medical injury and product liability lawsuits have awarded damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical costs, loss of consortium and wrongful death if the person has died.



Since its establishment in 1999, Seeger Weiss has led some of the most complex and high-profile litigations in the U.S.