A look at the link between Baby Powder and mesothelioma

This article looks at the connection between talc-based powders like Baby Powder and mesothelioma.

When most people think of asbestos, they assume that those who are most at risk of exposure are those who work in mining, construction, or heavy industries. Few people realize that a product as seemingly innocuous as Baby Powder, for example, could put them at risk of mesothelioma. However, as CNBC reports, two juries have now ruled that the maker of Baby Powder, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), is liable for the mesothelioma that two claimants developed as a result of, what they claimed, was exposure to Baby Powder. The company also faces claims that its Baby Powder may cause ovarian cancer.

Verdicts against Baby Powder

The most recent case concerned a woman in California who argued that her mesothelioma was the result of her long-term use of J&J's Baby Powder. Tests done on Baby Powder bottles found in her home tested positive for asbestos, according to her attorneys. The woman argued that J&J was negligent in not warning consumers about the risk of using their Baby Powder product.

Similar claims were made by a man in New Jersey who also was a long-term user of Baby Powder and likewise developed mesothelioma. While J&J insists its products do not contain asbestos, juries in both cases sided with the plaintiffs. The California woman was awarded close to $26 million, while the New Jersey man was awarded $117 million. J&J is also facing 9,000 other claims that its Baby Powder may cause ovarian cancer.

Does Baby Powder need a warning label?

As CNN reports, the issue is over whether talc-based powders are contaminated with asbestos. Talc is a naturally occurring mineral, but it is often found in deposits in nature close to asbestos. Asbestos exposure is harmful to human health and is linked to mesothelioma and other diseases. The concern is that when talc is mined, it is contaminated with asbestos, which in turns ends up in talc-based products like Baby Powder.

Critics allege that companies that sell talc-based powders should start placing warning labels on their products. For example, Assured's Shower & Bath Absorbent Body Powder already advises against using its product for internal use and cautions that long-term use may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. J&J, however, has refused to carry similar warnings, arguing that they are unnecessary and would confuse customers.

Mesothelioma claims

Victims of mesothelioma should know that there are places they can turn to for help. An attorney who specializes in handling mesothelioma claims can advise clients about what their options may be. In many cases, compensation is available for those who are suffering from asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma.