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Worthington & Caron, P.C.

FairWarning Reports: Tougher Testing Needed to Prevent Asbestos Contamination of Talc

For decades manufacturers of talc products were aware of possible contamination of asbestos, and much like the asbestos industry, the danger was hidden and ignored.

Not all talc is contaminated with asbestos, but talc is a mineral that like asbestos, is mined from the earth. The problem lies in that many places where talc is found, asbestos resides right along side it.

Talc is a widely used mineral with a wide variety of applications. The soft powder absorbs moisture, prevents friction, is highly resistant to heat and electricity, and is used as a filler material in everything from food and pharmaceuticals, to cosmetics, paint and baby powder.

This past April, the first ever verdict against a talc company was found for causing our client, Judith Winkel’s mesothelioma. Judith used the women’s hygiene powder Cashmere Bouquet manufactured by Colgate Palmolive, daily over the course of many years. Colgate Palmolive now faces 23 lawsuits throughout the U.S. but continues to deny liability. It isn’t just Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson is currently facing hundreds of lawsuits alleging that ovarian cancer was caused by their talc products.

Although the FDA is tasked for regulating cosmetics, the cosmetic manufacturers do not need to prove their products are safe before they are sold. It’s up to the FDA to discover the danger and then remove products from shelves.

FairWarning’s report shows a difficult job tasked to the FDA and their attempts at regulating asbestos in talc products. It appears that over the years many attempts were made to further test products but met roadblocks and were ultimately scrapped.

Read the full report here.