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Asbestos in Talcum Powder: Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Risk

Talcum powder exposure can cause Mesothelioma due to asbestos contamination in the Talc mines.

In some cases Talc has been mined from areas close in proximity to asbestos veins and, as a result, the asbestos has contaminated the talc during the crushing phase of the manufacturing process.

It is a known fact that any exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer or Mesothelioma.

Talcum Powder Asbestos Lawsuits

Talcum Mines Contaminated with Asbestos

Many of the mountain ranges where talc is mined at one time also contained asbestos mines. The formation and chemical properties of talc are very similar to those of asbestos. Many talc mines are contaminated with asbestos.

When asbestos was banned, the mines were closed, but the asbestos in the mines and mountains remained. This asbestos ends up being mined with the talc and conveyed within the talc to the end user of the product. This asbestos contaminant, when inhaled, can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and death.

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What is Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder is made from crushing talc, a clay mineral mined from the earth and made up mainly of the elements; magnesium, silicon, oxygen and hydrogen. Talc is mined as a rock from certain mountain ranges across the globe, crushed into powder, and used in many industrial and cosmetic products.

Industries and Products using Talc

Talc is used in cosmetic products such as baby, body, facial, medicated and perfumed powders. Asbestos containing talc has had many uses in cosmetics and other personal care products.

Talc has been used in some food, such as rice and chewing gum; and in the manufacture of medicinal tablets. Talc products are used for moisture control. Talc is also used to keep a product from caking or to make facial products appear opaque. The formula for baby powder is formulated differently by its manufacturer but the primary ingredient is typically either talc or cornstarch. Cornstarch being the product that did not contain asbestos.

Some known products that contain or have contained talc at some point include:

  • Johnson’s® Baby Powder
  • Shower to Shower Body Powder
  • Gold Bond Body Powder
  • Nivea Pure Talc
  • Estee Lauder Body Powder
  • Summer’s Eve Body Powder
  • High Risk Asbestos Exposure From Talcum Powder

    Barbers and make-up artists are at special risk of exposure to this asbestos-containing talc as are those who have used the products at home.

    FDA Investigations on Talc

    Asbestos Diseases caused by Talc

    While the FDA continues investigating reports of asbestos contamination in certain cosmetic products, these products and their ingredients except color additives are not regulated by the FDA for consumer use. Despite a cosmetic companies’ legal responsibility for safety and labeling of their products, they are not required by law to share their information with the FDA.

    The FDA does do some monitoring for potential public safety concerns with cosmetic products that are on the market and will take actions when needed but, before the FDA can begin to do anything about a cosmetic product, they must acquire scientific data to show the product is harmful when used as intended.

    There has been published scientific literature from the 1960s suggesting a possible association between the use of powders containing asbestos contaminated talc and the incidence of cancer.  Questions have been raised since the 1970s about the presence and contamination of asbestos in talc. The FDA has even conducted an exploratory survey of currently marketed cosmetic-grade raw material talc, as well as some cosmetic products containing talc using.
    AMA Analytical Services, Inc. (AMA) of Lanham, MD to conduct this laboratory survey.

    The survey found no asbestos fibers or structures in any of the samples of cosmetic-grade raw material talc or cosmetic products containing talc. However, the results were limited, by the fact that only four talc suppliers submitted samples and the number of limited products tested. For these reasons, while the FDA finds these results informative, they do not prove that most or all talc or talc-containing cosmetic products currently marketed in the United States are likely to be free of asbestos contamination.

    Diagnosed with Mesothelioma or Other Lung Disease After Using Talc Products?

    If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or a lung disease and have exposure to talcum powder, please call the Flint Law Firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation if you act quickly. The amount of compensation may be limited in the future.

    Article Sources

    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164883/
    2. http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Ingredients/ucm293184.htm
    3. https://healthybutsmart.com/baby-powder-increases-risk-ovarian-cancer
    4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26689397
    5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230399/
    6. http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/25/health/talc-safety-explainer-hln/
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