For the first time in nearly five decades, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will look into asbestos testing for talcum powders and cosmetics. According to a Reuters news report, regulators are now taking a closer look after finding asbestos, which is a known carcinogen, in several talcum powder products including a bottle of Johnson & Johnson’s popular Baby Powder products. Some lawmakers and consumer advocates are calling for stricter regulations to protect public health, citing those FDA results.
Johnson & Johnson has repeatedly defended the safety of its talcum powder products. However, juries have found them liable for mesothelioma and ovarian cancers in lawsuits where plaintiffs alleged that they developed these cancers after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder, in many cases, over a long period of time.
Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Last week, a New Jersey jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $750 million in punitive damages to four people who said they developed cancer after using the company’s Baby Powder. This verdict came after the company’s CEO testified for the first time ever in one of these cases. In this case, the four plaintiffs said they developed mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, because they used the company’s talcum powder.
So far, more than 16,000 plaintiffs have sued the company saying its powder caused mesothelioma or ovarian cancer and that J&J did not warn consumers about these dangers. A Reuters investigation in 2018 found that Johnson & Johnson failed to disclose the discovery of small amounts of asbestos in its talc over several decades. Asbestos can cause cancer when inhaled and has been linked to mesothelioma.
Johnson & Johnson also recalled about 33,000 bottles of its Baby Powder in October after an FDA contractor found asbestos in samples of the baby powder. The company later blamed the FDA contractor for those test results saying their own outside testing found no asbestos in baby powder samples.
Talcum Powder and Cancer
Talc is a soft mineral and the main ingredient in talcum powder and several other cosmetics. It is a natural mineral that often becomes contaminated with asbestos when it is mined since it is found near asbestos in the earth. This has led to mounting concerns over talcum powder products, which have been tied to cases of mesothelioma, lung cancer and ovarian cancer.
The FDA has said talc can be contaminated by asbestos if mines are not carefully selected and if the talc doesn’t go through proper purification processes. Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that develops in the linings of vital organs such as the heart, lungs and abdomen. Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of malignant mesothelioma. The average life expectancy of mesothelioma patients is 12 to 21 months after diagnosis. Common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath and general fatigue.
Compensation for Affected Victims
A victim who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, ovarian cancer or lung cancer as a result of using these contaminated products may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against J&J seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, permanent injuries, lost income and benefits, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. A family that has lost a loved one as a result of these products may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking compensation.
If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma, ovarian cancer and other adverse health effects as a result of using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder or other talcum powder products, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our firm recovered $1,162,500 for a child who suffered lead poisoning from paint in her apartment. The child’s injuries were subtle and difficult to recognize. We recovered $162,500 above the $1 million dollar total insurance policy in this case. Despite the judge’s efforts to settle the case for $950,000, we fought hard and recovered $162,500 more than the insurance policy of one million dollars. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
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